Tags: Government | Fine | Punishment | Coercion

Government Walks a Fine Line Between Punishment and Coercion

Government Walks a Fine Line Between Punishment and Coercion
(Dollar Photo Club)

By Friday, 12 May 2017 05:00 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In Michigan, it is no longer against the law to warm your car up in your driveway. 

I applaud State Rep. Holly Hughes for seeing the error of government’s ways.

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: 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 it's all about revenue.

And the idea that a government’s job is to punish and coerce its citizens.

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. Post your comments on Twitter: @LaurenFix or on her Facebook Page.

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Many traffic laws are all about revenue. And the idea that a government’s job is to punish and coerce its citizens.
Government, Fine, Punishment, Coercion
Friday, 12 May 2017 05:00 PM
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