Welcome to the War on Cars Watch, a weekly blog to bring together all the stories that affect motorists with regards to street planning such as road diets, and traffic calming as well as programs such as Vision Zero and Complete Streets.
Please read this blog and let us know what you think by commenting below! Check out the where we feature a story a day!
oos Communications Director Shelia Dunn compiles the list, with commentary from oos Member Michael Jabbra (marked with an MJ). oos Base Executive Director James C. Walker gives us his considerable wisdom at the end of this week’s list.
Information from July 4 – July 9, 2019
MJ: This will certainly help. It’s a great step forward. Civil asset forfeiture is nothing but theft under the color of law.
Mobility as a Service or MaaS (Nationally)
MJ: Let’s give the devil her due: not everyone wants to drive, or is able to drive, or can afford to drive. There needs to be some accommodation for this. However, I, like other oos members and other drivers, are tired of drivers always being treated as the villains. Once again, not everyone lives close to work, and not everyone goes around without cargo or kids or relatives in tow. For most people, cars are utterly necessary. Instead of bashing drivers, politicians should provide alternatives such as allowing more home-based businesses, or encouraging more telecommuting or providing mass transit that people feel safe in and that frequently goes to places that people want to go.
MJ: As the article notes, there’s some legitimate interest in keeping people from running “off-the-books” repair shops, or polluting with automotive chemicals. Still, this does look like a way to play “gotcha” for city bureaucrats who are on the lookout for pollution ways to raise revenue. The only way to handle this would be for code enforcement officers to be trained to consider the spirit of the law as well as the letter of the law. This probably doesn’t happen much.
District of Columbia
MJ: Kudos to the U.S. Supreme Court for making the Indiana Solicitor General look like a fool. Indiana must be really desperate for cash to go through these legal gymnastics to keep civil asset forfeiture legal. If this leads to shootings or other uses of force by law enforcement, or more distrust of law enforcement or government by the citizenry, the politicians will simply blame law enforcement officers instead of looking in the mirror to find where the problem lies.
MJ: The idea of license plates for bicycles sounds over the top, but it’s time that city governments showed as much zeal for going after scofflaw cyclists that they do for going after scofflaw drivers. Oh wait, I forgot – bicycles don’t have a carbon footprint, so it’s okay if they go through stop signs and red lights or, or ride against traffic, or ride on the sidewalk. When I ride a bicycle, I obey the vehicle code (which applies to cyclists here in California). It’s not hard.
Commentary from oos Base Executive Director James C. Walker
Trump helping to reduce civil forfeiture abuses is welcome, of course. But what we have to get to is the principle that civil forfeiture without a prior conviction of a related crime is governmental larceny where the officials involved should be prosecuted for larceny and jailed if convicted.
If Australia makes speed limiters mandatory on cars, their predatory for-profit speed camera rackets will go bankrupt. I wonder if that might change the official position to give up that loot?
Colorado was one of the first states to re-emphasize the Keep Right Except to Pass on freeways, AND that law does not refer to the posted limit. If the limit is 70 and a driver in the left lane at 75 is caught by one doing 80, they MUST move over.