Thursday, April 15, 2010

The First Step Towards An Authoritarian State

Criminalize everyone.

That's essentially what Special Ed and his band of geniuses are proposing with Bill 16.

I'm not saying that it is wise to be doing any of the things prohibited in the act while driving - that isn't the point. This is a piece of legislation which gives police blanket permission to hand out tickets for anything that they feel like.

Have an iPod on your dash? Oh - must have seen you operating it while driving. Is that a lipstick sitting on the console? You were seen putting it on in the car - that'll be $172 please. Or perhaps you have an apple core sitting on the passenger seat - whoops, that must be proof of distracted driving.

You can see where this heads - quite quickly. An awful lot of tickets get written, and most people won't bother to contest them, even though they are mostly going to be based on the word of the officer writing the ticket.

On CBC this afternoon they had some whackjob on the radio who was going on about how the law wasn't strict enough, they should have banned cell phone use altogether - including hands-free.

Broad, sweeping laws like this do nothing for public safety, and provide law enforcement officials with a tool that can be used primarily to harass civilians.


Anonymous said...

Forst off, they are not criminalizing cell phones, just making it a highway traffic act offence to use it while driving.

If you watch the number of wack-job drivers texting while driving, and putting the safety of others at risk, you might not be so opposed to driving while distracted legislation.

Do you have to loose one of your family members to some distracted driver to see the light??

I usually find your postings very well thought out and progressive, but WTF are you thinking about? I'm already paying way too much for insurance because of irresponsible drivers. Some people are paying with their lives.

Please, give your head a shake! Have you caught some weird virus from Levant or Chandler??? Jeeezzz

MgS said...

Ummm ... you don't pay close attention do you?

I wasn't - and do not - condone some of what I see on the roads. But then again, I'd like to see a lot more people driving standard transmission cars - because it requires a greater degree of awareness on the driver's part.

That said, the legislation now before the Alberta legislature is so broad that it gives police a license to harass people whom they couldn't otherwise even find 'probable cause' to issue a ticket to.

I'm sorry, but this law doesn't address real problems - it's an attempt to legislate 'common sense' (an attribute too often lacking, I'll agree), and such laws don't work very well - if at all.

Until the realization dawns on them that they've created a law that is unenforceable, there will be a lot of Albertans paying fines for "infractions" that aren't and never were actual problems or safety hazards on the road.