To Punish and Coerce Edition – American Citizens

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THE CAR COACH REPORTS:

May 5th, 2017

To Punish and Coerce Edition

 

To Punish and Coerce Edition - American Citizens

 

In Michigan, it is no longer against the law to warm your car up in your driveway and I applaud I applaud State Rep. Holly Hughes for seeing the error of government’s ways:

http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2017/05/02/warming-your-car-home-state-house-vote-says-s-okay/101215984/

Why was leaving a car to idle in your driveway ever against the law? To protect people from vehicle theft, of course. No, really.  The Michigan Vehicle Code allows authorities to ticket citizens for leaving vehicles idling on public roadways AND private property, to protect them from auto theft. Also, the ticket in this specific instance was $128.00. So, this citizen, on his property, got fined for doing as he saw fit with his property that was not injurious to others.

Now, I can see why idling vehicles on public roadways might be an issue. Maybe. But ticketing on private property? That makes no sense whatsoever. Actually, yes, it does:  Revenue. As for the logic behind the law—Michigan isn’t the only place in America that does this by the way—being a deterrent to auto theft? I call BS. Want to deter auto theft? Maybe try policing and protecting citizens from criminals who want to take their property instead of punishing the citizen for a change.

If citizens want to leave their cars running and run the risk of auto theft, that is their choice with their private property. And don’t try the “it’s government’s business when resources have to be directed to retrieve the stolen property, so government should be allowed to have these laws,” argument either. If I am not mistaken, that is already part of the job of a police officer. In other words, it should already have been budgeted for. But let’s face it.  If it wasn’t a money maker, it wouldn’t be on the books. Just like red light camera laws.

And along similar lines, this happened last week: http://www.autoblog.com/2017/04/26/oregon-fines-man-500-for-using-math-to-fight-red-light-cameras/?hcid=hp-tile-small-1 An engineer  by the name of Mats Järlström decided to check the math on a red light camera in Oregon, after his wife got a red light camera ticket. He found that the algorithms were making the lights too short—small surprise—and challenged the ticket. The State of Oregon fined him $500 for checking their math without a license. There is a law that violates mathematical criticism without a license. WHY is there a law that violates mathematical criticism without a license?

The premise of the red light camera is that citizens run red lights, and those citizens are dangerous, so let us install cameras that catch citizens breaking the law, and then fine them to teach a lesson. No.  Red light cameras are a revenue generating operation and nothing more. Traffic accidents have not decreased measurably to support the hypothesis.  To add insult to injury, this man, an engineer, an occupation where one has to excel at math, got fined for criticizing the government’s math without a license. Why? Because revenue. And the idea that a government’s job is to punish and coerce its citizens.

But what do you think?

Post your comments on Twitter @LaurenFix

 

Final Thought:

If you play games, you win prizes, and if this law passes: http://jalopnik.com/colorado-just-explicitly-banned-rolling-coal-after-an-i-1794900970, the prize is a $100 fine.

In Colorado, it very well may become against the law to roll coal on passing vehicles.  I can get behind this law because it actually punishes stupidity and bad behavior. Also, a diesel belching a cloud of black smoke can be dangerous if and when the smoke obstructs a driver’s vision.

It is a sad commentary on some people that we need laws like this.

Post your comments on Twitter @LaurenFix

Love Your Car! See you next week!

–Lauren Fix

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