Monterey, Calif., Mar. 1 — Like a lot of states, California is essentially broke. Though shutting down the iron lungs at all state sanitariums has saved a few bucks (just relax and breathe already!), there is still an audible statewide sucking sound as the hungry feeding tubes of government thrash about to find the few remaining plump wallets in this trend-setting, full-of-ourselves nihilist’s paradise. (We’ll wait while you Google that...)
Various government departments have had to find creative new ways to siphon delicious, mouth-watering cash from the populace. The latest? The California Highway Patrol (CHiPs to you, me and Ponch) has begun a pilot program aggressively patrolling racetracks in an effort to tap a fresh and tasty new stream of revenue. Track days have proven to be a gunbelt-stretching smorgasbord of spend-worthy dinero for cash-starved protect-and-servers. And with a new penalty structure sporting progressive speed-based fines, the faster you lap, the more you pay.
Check out this rare shot in the wild. Open-face boy is on the fine-free line, staying well within the prescribed plus-or-minus 5-degrees-of-vertical limit. Meanwhile, Multistrada man, heeled over to a giddy 18 degrees, is clearly in the sights of the steely-eyed officer. What’s next? A trip to the slammer and a robust cavity search? Nope, this isn’t Georgia. Better to get them right back on their bikes, generating more fines! They don’t call it the Golden State for nothing.
The CHP is already eyeing low-hanging MotoGP fruit, with enhanced enforcement planned for the USGP at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Those guys may be a little harder to catch, but the fines will be huge!