Thursday, September 3, 2009


Several new laws kicked in down here in Texas this week. One of them is the final brushstroke on the seatbelt laws which started back in 1968 at the behest of the feds. At first, just passenger cars had to HAVE seatbelts as standard equipment. Remember way back then? Then they required seat belts AND shoulder harnesses. Then the front seat passengers in cars (only) to had to wear them. Then trucks as well. This week EVERYONE has to wear them. Front and back. All the time. Everywhere. And kids have to ride in the back so the airbags won't kill them. In approved safety seats. Facing the right way.

We've done wonderful things!

To be even safer, it's now illegal to talk on a cell phone. Only in school zones, of course. Ever been in the jam outside a public school during pick-up time? Everyone is on a cell phone. It's gong to be a ticket-palooza. They will get RICH writing tickets making children safe! I got in my 4-runner in the faculty lot at the college yesterday and the first thing I did was check my voicemail messages, since my phone is turned off while I teach. That's illegal now, until I am off school property. For the children.

That's how you do it. One little law, one little tax, just to get the camels nose under the edge of the tent. 20 years later, you own them, ox, ass and both humps. And no law ever gets abandoned and gets improved. For your safety. For the children.

Of course this was done by Texas legislators, who are Republican, conservative, stalwart sons of the revolution! They guard our safety and constitutional rights!

In Tyler, convervative bastion of East Texas, someone just noticed that we spend more per student, (10,000.00 plus) in our public schools than it costs to send a kid to private school (7000.00 per year), and we get worse edumacated students. The only answer by the public school folks is: Yeah....and so what? We need more money to educate these students better!

Just let the school system police write and collect for their own tickets for cell phones in the school zone and they will be good to go! For a while. Until they need even MORE money.

Moral of this story: Nothing is more expensive than something the government provides for free.


Paladin said...


When I first got my 1950 Ford pickup running, we called to have it added to my insurance policy. The girl we spoke to asked, "Does it have airbags?"

My Wife told her, "Lady.. it doesn't even have seatbelts."

She didn't know what to make of that :)

BTW, I habitually wear a seatbelt when in a vehicle. I always wear a helmet when I'm on the motorcycle. I won't drive/ride with a passenger unless they are too.

But I do these things because I think they are smart. I don't need the government to become involved

Bob S. said...

I posted on this as the criminalization of the lack of common sense.

It is a shame that so many people fail to recognize that nannystatism is destroying our liberty.

smith kaich jones said...

I should google this up and find out, but I am too lazy & in a hurry, so I'll just ask. I thought I saw a bit on tv about a new law making it illegal to be an intoxicated passenger in a car. Have you heard anything about that? I am assuming I misunderstood, because that means those of us who are always the designated driver will be in trouble; having someone who's had too much to drink sitting next to us is a no-no for the driver also? I'm sure I'm wrong, that sounds too ridiculous, but I'm asking anyway.

:) Debi

Paladin said...

Debi - You didn't ask me, but that doesn't usually stop me :)

I don't know about a specific "drunk passenger" law, but you can already be arrested for being intoxicated anywhere outside your home - at least in Texas you can. It's called "public intoxication", and you can get hauled off if you're a passenger in a car, sitting on a barstool, or foolish enough to step outside onto your porch when the policeman at your door asks you too - after you've knocked a few too many back at home.

Seems crazy, but it happens quite frequently - but not to me. I don't drink often, and I fall asleep before I can get enough in me to get lit :)

Robert Langham said...

And don't overlook: .08 may be the legal definition of drunk driving, but DWI can mean driving while IMPAIRED. Admit you had a beer at lunch, six hours ago and get tagged for a DWI even though your blood alcohol is zero when they testify that your driving didn't deem crisp and sharp.

Vote For David said...

That's why you should just submit to a blood draw on the spot. You know, to clear your name. Because the innocent have nothing to hide.

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