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When There Aren’t Enough Criminals, One Makes Them

February 9th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Radley fumes over the latest proposed addition to the duty roster of Nanny State:

Vermont lawmakers are considering a measure that would ban eating, drinking, smoking, reading, writing, personal grooming, playing an instrument, “interacting with pets or cargo,” talking on a cell phone or using any other personal communication device while driving. The punishment: a fine of up to $600.

This is, of course, ridiculous. So much so that I find it very difficult to believe that even the people proposing the law really believe the average person is going to stop drinking, smoking, or “interacting” while on the road. Very likely, they understand that the actual effect will be (1) to provide a pretext for stopping cars full of dark-skinned or otherwise vaguely suspicious people by criminalizing ubiquitous behaviors, and (2) to allow officers to occasionally fill out their quotas and pull in a couple bucks… though only occasionally, since serious and routine enforcement would be a massive waste of time and might actually deter people from doing these things, which would undermine the first function.

Tags: Nannyism



1 response so far ↓

  • 1 ed // Feb 12, 2007 at 2:28 pm

    Since when are driving regulations part of the “Nanny State”? Irresponsible driving endagers other drivers as well as pedestrians. It’s not self-regarding at all.

    (Not that I don’t agree that this regulation is stupid… I just don’t understand the knee-jerk “it’s a law regarding behaviour, therefore it’s the nanny state” reaction.)