The Trouble with Laws


A great deal of effort these days is being devoted to the creation of traffic safety laws. But I haven't seen any attention being paid to the effect these laws are having on society. On a recent trip through town, I was forced to an abrupt stop when a pedestrian unexpectedly stepped out in front of me. Before I could render the proper degree of outrage, I was assailed by this strange ostrich like woman as she began to repeatedly screech the word “crosswalk” in my left ear.  And this is why I have a problem with these laws; they make us stupid.

There is no doubt that every normal healthy person (if there are any of those left today) would understand that a painted white line is no protection from a moving vehicle.  But, let the clerk at the local town councils office enter a few words in a law book somewhere and we feel we no longer have to consider that.  I understand that you’re in a crosswalk madam, but I’m in a Buick, and I think that should have entered into your decision process.

Now all of this might be a wrong attitude to take toward life, but if we are going to make written laws the only factor in our decision making, then we should at least consider all of the writing contained in those laws.  For instance, the same town council that passed the crosswalk ordinance also decided that the fine for violating this ordinance should be the unbelievably monstrous sum of …fifty dollars. Once you consider that a Duck hunting license costs seventy five dollars, it becomes easier to see why a sizable portion of the population might choose the better bargain.

As I understand it (and I don't), there is supposed to be a committee that sits and discusses things before enacting these laws. Soberly weighing out the pros and cons; judiciously stepping in only when events dictate the need. I can’t help but wonder what string of events transpired in Chico, California; where it is now illegal to plant rutabagas in roadways. Or, what happened to cause officials in Glendale, California, to make it illegal to jump from a car at 65 mph. And, why pray- tell, did a small town in Alabama suddenly feel the need to pass a law against driving while blindfolded?

Although I’m no expert on these matters (or any matter that I can think of), I can’t help but wonder if some of this legislation may have been the result of a long weekend at the local tavern.  Perhaps we should pass a law against passing any laws, until our purveyors of Jurisprudence have had a few days for their hangovers to subside.