Road Rage Over Ticket Law

He knows how it looks, but Jason Bodie insists he's no speed demon.

Somebody might look at him and say, "Oh yeah, he's one of those young, aggressive hot-rod-ing kids riding around."

But Bodie insists: "Never judge a book by its cover."

Cruising through northern Virginia, Bodie didn't notice the speed limit had dropped, from 65 mph to 55 mph. But the cop did.

"It was actually a reckless driving ticket - 82 in a 55," Bodie told CBS News correspondent Joie Chen.

Virginia's reckless driving statute is broad enough that with the new law Jason Bodie could get a $1,000 fine for doing 27 miles over the speed limit.

Depending on the offense, fees can go as high as $3,000.

Here is how it works: Get caught driving with an open alcohol container and the fine is $35. But now the new law tacks on $300 a year for three years, making it an offense that now costs more than $900.

"We needed to raise money for roads," said state delegate David Albo, R-Va.

Albo said when drivers dug in against a gas tax increase, Virginia chose another revenue-raising option.

"Why is it that a person who breaks the laws, who commits misdemeanors, pays the same to drive in Virginia as a person who just gets a traffic ticket now and then," Albo said. "We didn't think that was fair."

New Jersey and Michigan have similar penalties. But it's led to a citizen's revolt in Virginia.

"One hundred and seventy-five thousand people signed my petition demanding the repeal, not the modification, not the adjustment, the repeal," said law opponent Bryan Ault. "The people of Virginia don't like the law; they want it gone."

Critics say the high-dollar penalties were bad enough. But to make matters worse, only Virginia drivers have to pay. Out-of-state drivers face regular ticket penalties.

That triggered a constitutional challenge, one of several legal battles now underway.

While supporters claim the measure has already saved lives, police say the law doesn't seem to be slowing some drivers down. They're writing as many tickets as ever.

But not to Jason Bodie. The judge cut him a break.

In the future, he'll watch for those road signs - and he's going to slow down.