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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Leave My Car Alone

Leave My Car Alone
     Now don't laugh at this, but state lawmakers are not complete idiots and every time it comes to regulating anything that has to do with your automobile, they prove it.
     You see even legislators have figured out that most voters have a car and if you try to regulate what goes on inside those cars, you run the risk of losing a vote.
      Put more bluntly: voters drive and drivers vote. 'Nuf said.
      Which is why it took years to pass a mandatory seat belt law which, by the way, does save lives.  Nervous lawmakers, fearing a voter backlash, at first refused to do anything sitting on the seat belts for years.  They finally passed a law but watered it down saying you could only get a seat belt ticket if you broke another traffic law first.  Years later when the life saving evidence was overwhelming they dropped that provision.
      The record is replete with other auto related goodies that have scared the be-jeezus out of lawmakers.  Banning cell phones has been around for years…never passed. Regulating the number of passengers teenagers can have in the car…never passed.
      And now comes a retread, lowering the speed limit. OMG, even though it might save lives and most certainly would save gasoline and money, lawmakers won't touch that with a lead foot.
     The governor tip toed into the issue the other day noting that lowering the speed limits should be considered but moments later, perhaps sensing a push back, tacked on, "I'm not proposing that."
     Rep. Aldo Vagnozzi of Farmington Hills is proposing it but, he does it without any fear.  He's not running for reelection which is about the only way to avoid the wrath of all those speeding drivers who also vote.


Anonymous gb said...

While seatbelts do save lives and there are viable arguments to be made for all things mentioned leading up to and including lowering speed limits, it's a tough issue in Michigan because of our fierce protection of "my" rights vs. "the government's power to influence my" rights.

The argument put simply says, "The government can do what is best for the common good, but when it comes to my life and my liberties, don't just leave my car alone...leave me alone."

From my personal point of view, anytime the government passes any law that restricts my ability to make choices for myself and my family, then they need to have a clear and present danger argument at hand.

July 6, 2008 at 12:32 PM 

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