Several years ago a friend of mine got a speeding ticket in the mail saying he was exceeding the speed limit in a town in North Carolina. He hadn’t been in the area in years and knew there was no way it was him. Then it dawned on him, he had loaned a buddy his pickup to move some furniture for a family member. The buddy was driving his truck through this town when it was clocked going above the speed limit.

Speeding is against the driver, not the vehicle and the owner of a vehicle is not responsible for the way another driver drives it. The problem with this scenario is that the automated ticket dispensary assumes the owner is the driver and it’s up to the owner to dispute the ticket or risk escalated collection efforts including being arrested.

For the first time here in Virginia, a form of automated speeding tickets could become a reality if the Governor signs the bill. It’s limited to highway work zones, and the driver must be exceeding the limit by at least 12 miles per hour. The state trooper would be permitted to clock the vehicle using a handheld device and never pull the person over. A week or so later the owner gets a summons in the mail and ordered to pay a fine.

Guilty until proven innocent, the owner has to either sign an affidavit or testify in court that they weren’t operating the vehicle at the time.