Alaska has always been, and always will be a resource state. So when we have a lot of one resource, it just makes sense to exploit it.

That’s why it comes as no surprise that the mayor is trying to monetize one of Anchorage’s most renewable resources.

That’s right…I’m talking about lousy drivers.

Let’s face it — we rule!

Drivers here use high beams like light sabers. Red lights mean “step on it.” We don’t use turn signals because it’s just nobody’s business which way we’re going to turn.

And we can’t drive 65 on the Glenn — yet alone 35 on city streets — in spite of the weather conditions.

Joe Vigil knows. He’s been on a one-man crusade to document our need for speed.

So under the Mayor’s plan, approved by the Assembly, speeding tickets will increase an average of about 30 percent:

  • $90 bucks for going 3-9 miles an hour over the speed limit

  • $180 bucks for going between 10 and 19 miles an hour faster

The Assembly on Tuesday also reduced texting and driving from a misdemeanor with jail time to a traffic violation with a $500 fine.

A smaller penalty, but easier and quicker to enforce. So expect more of them… a lot more.

The increased fines are expected to bring in more than a million dollars a year, which the mayor hopes to use to fill a budget gap, or hire more police officers who presumably could write more tickets.

Now, some people see this as just a scheme for Mayor Berkowitz to raise money, and to that I say, “yeah. Of course!”

Here’s the deal. I’ve been caught speeding. And yes, I’ve caught myself reading a text or two on my cell phone. And if I get caught doing either in the future, I’ll pay the fine.

Because the fact is distracted driving injures almost half a million Americans a year and kills thousands. Speeding and aggressive driving, thousands more.

So if we can’t slow down or take our eyes off our phones for the right reasons, just look at it this way:

Drive safe… and stick it to the Mayor!

John’s opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.