Monday, December 3, 2007

Wisconsin's legislature: Inept at any speed?

You realize, of course, that if common sense was indeed common you could buy it at Wal-Mart but nonetheless our Wisconsin legislature certainly takes the came when it comes to being out in the ozone.

Take the Interstate Compact on Nonresident Traffic Violators. That's the pact between participating states where if a motorist gets an out-of-state traffic ticket and doesn't pay it, his or her home state suspends the motorist's driver's license until it's paid. Pretty simple stuff plus it saves Wisconsin drivers from having to post cash when ticketed out-of-state.

The compact has been around for a couple of decades but Wisconsin never signed on. How dumb is that?

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel calculated how dumb: about $8 million worth in unpaid traffic forfeitures.

I'd say that qualifies as really dumb.

Of course, there's more to the story and that's the scourge of uninsured and unlicensed motorists on the highways. You can blame the legislature and wimpy judges for that.

Uninsured drivers? Not a high tech situation here: no insurance, no license plates.

Unlicensed drivers? Driving after suspension or revocation? We used to put these morons in jail. Not today. Judges bend over backwards to be nice to them. Why?

Yes, we can work with someone who had some hard luck and is making a good faith effort to get a license and insurance but there comes a time when enough is enough.

And don't whine about the cost of enforcing this law. Every city and county in this state has law enforcement officers on the road every day. No license? No insurance? Seize the license plates.

Is this foolproof? Of course not. An unlicensed driver could easily drive a licensed person's car. But then there's another state law about permitting an unlicensed person to driver your car. Heaven forbid that be enforced.

You don't solve a problem by ignoring it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Right.
Someone once said, "Diapers and politicians regularly need changing for the same reason".