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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lack of enforcement or too low a fine?

From Savannah, GA:

Gary Becker's theory of crime suggests that fines can be used to dissuade behavior. However, the fine is inversely related to the odds of catching and prosecuting an offender. One reason you see signs on the road claiming $10,000 fines for littering - the fine is high because the odds of catching you throwing a bag of trash out the window are fairly low (who would throw trash out the window with a police car crusing on your rear bumper?).

This picture sums up a problem with the threat to impose a fine on someone who doesn't break down a box. Unless there is an address on the box (which I didn't look for), it would be difficult after the box is thrown away, sans required breakdown, to identify who threw it away.

Thus, the fine is probably set too low (off with their head?) and enforcement is probably close to zero. End result? Boxes thrown away without being broken down.

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