Mortal Combat – California and the Feds Lock Up
Obama’s Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, has announced recently that he wants to outlaw both navigation systems and cell phones in cars. LaHood maintains that even being used hands-free, a cell phone is still too much of a driving disturbance. If we’re to gather one thing from this, it’s that LaHood prefers a 19th century practice of reading a roadmap and driving. This proposal and his other outdated policies, believe me he has some other doozies up his sleeves, has created quite the dispute between California and the federal government.
Even if you don’t live in California you’re sure to have heard about their “minor” budget imbalance of over $25 billion. Without having the ability to increase taxes freely, the new California governor along with all of his big spending, freewheeling, allies have had to focus their attention on another way of correcting the revenue shortfall, traffic fines. California has done this through the escalation of penalties for virtually every single driving infraction and launching it into the stratosphere. For instance, here are some of the new fees:
- Failure to notify the DMV of an address change within 10 days – $214
- Jaywalk and get ticketed – $191
- Seatbelt violation – $148
- Park in a disabled zone twice, the epitome of infractions – $1,876
The contentious point between California and Washington is something that begins with the practice of hands-free driving. The state of California is now charging a first offense penalty of $148 and then $256 for every single infraction thereafter. Sending, or even just reading a text message is going to put you on the line for $148 every time. The estimated budget effect is predicted to bring in, cell phone related infractions only, $3 billion plus in this first year alone.
So this is the reason that all the California legislature spendthrifts are very upset. They want to try to stifle LaHood before he gets the chance to chance to step all over their new stream of revenue. Let’s face it, $3 billion plus, from cell phone violations is a huge deal. It went so far as new Governor Brown calling President Obama to ask him to put a muzzle on LaHood and all of his archaic 19th century ideas, including the elimination of cell phones in cars. Obama replied to him with letting him know of the additional plans that Washington has to control the in-vehicle activities of drivers. This is what completely spun matters completely and totally out of control.
Apparently, LaHood has some plans on the books to further outlaw activities that are frequently done by people in cars, such as:
- Eating donuts
- Drinking coffee
- Consuming a hamburger
- Applying makeup
- So on
The Obama Administration can talk about eliminating pointless regulations as much as they want to; however, they need to get the message to the regulators themselves. Apparently they missed the memo.
Apparently, California officials were completely beside themselves when they heard about all of the intentions coming out of Washington. Keep in mind that the state of California has some very ambitious plans in the works to skyrocket fines, to capture more profits, to attempt to bring their catastrophic budget crisis to an end.
The rumor mill has it there was actually a bill that was about to be introduced by a San Francisco assemblyman that was going to establish a $256 fine for the consumption of the following items while behind the wheel:
- Consumption of coffee
- Consumption of donuts
- Consumption of burgers
It’s also in that same rumor mill that this bill would have assessed a whopping $492 penalty for someone applying their makeup while driving.
Why so much more for the application of makeup in comparison to the fine for the others? The authorities that commented replied that not only does applying makeup add to the distracted driving like the others, but it also warrants a higher penalty as smeared lipstick or misapplied mascara is a crime against humanity.
There was apparently a two-prong plan, extensively laid out, to capture the much needed revenue:
- Morning driving time where there were two positions for officers, the business centers so those makeup criminals could be caught and the Krispy Kreme drive-thru locations so they could get everyone stuffing down the hot coffee and warmed glazed ones
- Surreptitiously station the law enforcement personnel outside of the drive-thru locations of Burger King and McDonalds with the hopes of getting enough burger consuming drivers ticketed to get a budget surplus going
I’d be willing to bet that this created a rift in the White House as the First Lady is endorsing the California plan as part of her planned “War on Obesity”.
Obviously there’s a small amount of facetiousness here, however, it should just go to show how ridiculous LaHood and the Transportation Department is along with big government ego both on the national and state level. Things like this need to be left to the hands of the states, not the Transportation Department. Is there nothing else better for them to do right now? Does he honestly believe this is right or is he deranged or otherwise lacking in mental capacity? It’s likely a combination of all of the above to a certain extent.
Why they’re in full court press mode when we’re at a 57 year low for traffic deaths is beyond comprehension. Incidentally, this is actually the lowest number in history, at a combined total of 1.16 fatalities for every 100 million miles driven. Yes, just over 1 death average for 100 million miles. When LaHood was asked the very simple and obvious question, why? His response was, “Because this is what we do.”
The officials in California are working to stop them from their natural inclinations, in fact lobbying very desperately to do so. How else are they supposed to get all of the money that it takes to keep paying for their inflated benefits and salaries if not this?
For now, Californians, and the rest of the interested nation, eagerly await the outcome of this narcissistic battle of big government.
- Transportation Department Not Ready To Ban Hands-Free Driving Use
- California Cell Phone Use Bill Would Hike Driver Fines
- California Highway Patrol Set to Conduct Cell Phone Zero Tolerance Day
- California Cell Phone Crackdown
- Police in California Are Clamping Down On Distracted Drivers
- California Governor Puts an End to State Employee Cell Phones
- DOT Exploring Making Cell Phone Inoperable Inside Vehicles
- Nokia’s Abandoning Their Finnish HQ and Moving To California
- Attention Distracted Drivers: California Mobile Phone Tickets are on the Rise
- California Man Arrested For Making Over 18,000 911 Prank Cell Phone Calls