This one traffic violation will cost over 12 DUI tickets alone.
There’s nothing that ruins a day better quite like getting pulled over for the smallest of traffic violations.Embed from Getty Images
Take, for example, getting caught driving while talking on your cellphone. While a cellphone ticket AKA violating VC 23123.5, only carries a $20 base fine, after all the associated fees, your wallet is around $160 lighter.
Then again, distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of collisions today so, fair game.
We know that driving under the influence (or DUIs) ranks up there in the most expensive traffic violations you can get, and it’s true.
First time DUI offenders get slapped with a base fine of $390, and, after those aforementioned fees, your total bill is around $1,674.
But, did you know there’s one traffic violation that will truly eviscerate your life savings?
It’s, quite possibly, the one section of any 50 state vehicle codes in the United States you do NOT want to violate.
I’m not talking about breaking several traffic violations, anyone can do that.
I’m talking about breaking just one.
According to the Traffic Misdemeanor Bail and Penalty Schedule for the State of California, violating Section 14611 of the California Vehicle Code, “Knowingly Permit Transportation of Radioactive Materials Without Required License,” carries a total fine (after all the fees) of $20,580.
This is the breakdown of that fine.
- Base Fine- $5,000
- State Penalty- $5,000
- County Penalty- $3,500
- DNA Penalty- $2,500
- Court Penalty- $2,500
- EMS Penalty- $1,000
- Court Operations- $1,000
- Convenience Assessment- $4
- Night Court fee- $40
- TAP Fee- $35
“(a) A person shall not knowingly direct the operation of a vehicle transporting a highway route controlled quantity of Class 7 radioactive materials, as defined in Section 173.403 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, by a person who does not possess a training certificate pursuant to Section 12524 and a valid driver‘s license of the appropriate class.”
As I understand, it means, if you’re, for whatever reason, in possession of radioactive material, if you knowingly organize transport of that material in an unregulated manner (e.g. not by the book) you, not the driver, can be slapped with said traffic violation.
Class 7 materials are defined as dangerous goods of which exposure to without proper protection can cause severe risks to human health, including organ damage that can lead to death.
Radioactive material, such as enriched uranium, is commonly used to make nuclear fuel for nuclear plants, but, also, can be used to make something that will have your house swarming with CIA operatives within minutes of them finding out you have it.
Simply put, it’s material you do not want to half-a** the transport of.
In order to transport radioactive material, your drivers have to have the proper hazardous waste material handling license from the CHP. Proper application of said license means you’ll only transport Radioactive Material on CHP designated routes.
My guess is, in the event of a radioactive material leak, these routes are the most isolated from large populations.
Taking heed of the proper licensing also means you’re more likely to use the correct transport containers when transporting Class 7 materials.
There are strict guidelines for the kind of casing Class 7 materials can be transported in and must be able to, according to a redacted Redditor,
- Survive a 30 foot fall
- Survive 30 minutes in a fire
- Survive under water for at least 8 hours
- Survive falling one meter onto a steel rod.
This is an example of one such container.
As you can see, judging by the severity of the fine, how dangerous Class 7 materials are, and what lengths container companies go through to make sure that stuff does not leak, keeping that all in mind, $20,000+ fine is pretty fair.
There are reasons proper licensing must be used. Improper transport can result in an innumerable number of lives being affected for, in the outlier case of Chernobyl, upwards of 20,000 years.
Your average motorist isn’t going to be carrying radioactive material but, those who do have access to said materials, probably might need to transport it somewhere one day.
That person might think it’s safe to put his materials haphazardly in a lead-lined case from Amazon and instruct a grad student to drive it to wherever, but, that person should know there’s a hefty fine, and most likely a court date, in their future if and when their underpaid grad student gets pulled over.