Opinion: Part Two: Rules of the Road

I’m posting this a day early mainly because I’m going to be busy this weekend but I really want this to be said. I’m also hoping to get a few responses to this because I’d really like to learn something I may not know.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.

Also please excuse the formatting. I wrote this in Word and copied it here, but yeah I’m still tinkering with the formatting on WordPress.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!


At the beginning of the month I wrote part one of this article that pretty much dealt with what my pet peeves about driving are, and a mention about the “new” Indiana law that’s taking effect on July 1.

What a lot of people are calling the “left lane law”.

Basically what happened is that someone at the media was told or somehow found out that some genius at the state capital decided that they would amend the current law so that people driving in the left for an extended period of time, who didn’t get out of the way of people coming up fast behind them, would get ticketed.

Please note that I said the media – in that they had a field day with this. Specifically the part that said those driving in the left most lane of a highway or freeway would be punished. That’s the only thing they ever said about this amendment to the current law.

The supposed complaint that prompted this amendment is that it will deter reckless drivers (ie, slow drivers in the left most lane) and possibly prevent road rage.

The other side is that people who are obeying the law – basically the speed limit – are now being punished while speeders are being given the “Get Out Of Jail Free Card”.

Well, that first part’s never going to happen. People are going to go ape-shit on someone no matter what the government does – but the reason for that is an entirely different and debatable topic.

I may touch on that later sometime.

Ok, so, wanting to be more informed about all this before I go spouting my opinion without providing useless facts, I did a little digging.

The following information I found on a government website:

Indiana General Assembly
(http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/house/1305).

Basically, it’s not a new law as many articles have toted it to be. It’s an amendment.

House Bill 1305
Authored by Rep. Jud McMillin
Co-authored by Reps. Matt Pierce, Gregory Porter and Gregory Steuerwald
Sponsored by Sens. R. Michael Young, Brent Steele, Greg Taylor and Karen Tallian.

These names will probably not mean anything to anyone living outside of the state of Indiana. Hell, I’m sure they don’t mean anything to most people living inside the state either.

But as we all know, most laws that are passed under the guise of one thing usually has some underwritten, underhanded, underneath stuff that benefits only one particular group and has nothing to do with the actual bill. It just hides there so it’s not found by the general public who don’t read these laws because it’s too much, too crunched together, and has too much legalese in it.

  • Found out that this bill also makes it illegal for a person to possess an Indiana drivers’ license and one from other state – this is considered a Class C infraction.
  • You can get penalized for not slowing down or changing lanes if you come across a vehicle on the side of the road with its flashers on.
  • Your license can be suspended if you don’t show proof of insurance.
  • It’s now a class C misdemeanor if you don’t call 911 or render aid if you come across an accident.
  • If your license is suspended in another state you can’t obtain one in Indiana.

Wow! Seriously?

So yeah everything that was normally considered pretty much common sense is now a law because …

Now states can enforce and ticket and try to get money from these violators through the use of law enforcement officers, some of who already break other laws.

I’ve seen plenty of officers who perform “California rolls” so don’t tell me that they’re off to bust some criminal. He was on his phone at the time and didn’t look like he was in a hurry to get anywhere.

But what really gets me about this new “law” is the following – and these are verbatim (basically I’m copying and pasting here from the website):

  1. Precludes an individual from being adjudicated a habitual traffic violator more than once for the same underlying offenses
  2. Allows individuals to declare habitual traffic violator status by petitioning a court.
  3. Prohibits a driver’s license suspension or lifetime forfeiture for operating a vehicle while driving privileges are suspended or in violation of a license restriction.
  4. Allows holders of commercial driving licenses to seek specialized driving privileges.
  5. Repeals language that applies criminal penalties to an entire chapter.
  6. Removes the felony enhancement for selling a rebuilt vehicle without written notice.
  7. Specifies the conditions under which a person’s driver’s license, permit, or driving privileges may be suspended, the duration of the suspension, and whether the person may receive specialized driving privileges

At close to the end of all of these is the small sentence about changing from the left lane.

But right now I’m reading the rest of these items, the ones I have underlined above, and I’m saying to myself – WTF?

  1. Makes impossible or prevents the existence of an individual from being judged a habitual traffic violator more than once for the same underlying offenses.

What?

  1. Gives the person permission to petition the court and claim they are a habitual traffic violator.

So these two lines mean that they can claim insanity? They can go out and drink and drive multiple times but only be charged once? What happens if they kill someone and then later on kill someone else? Does this law prohibit them from being charged for the second crime?

What’s the deal?

  1. So, now the person who is constantly getting DUIs is safe from having her/his license suspended for life?
  2. Exactly what type of specialization are we talking about here?
  3. What language is being repealed? And why are we needing to repeal it? Who’s benefitting from this?
  4. So, now it’s legal for Torretto to sell his mod street car? (For those who don’t know or have never watched them, he’s a character from the Fast & Furious movies and I’m sure I misspelled his name).
  5. Now, with everything else being said above, there are certain conditions where one can be suspended, so long as it has nothing to do with anything that’s been said above.

Ok, so now we have all these words that to me seem to benefit the criminal. And yet the media said nothing about these. Is it because they thought the left side issue would cause the most drama so get the most sales or the most hits?

Were these other items already law or are they what I think they are – amendments to the already existing law?

But to top this off, our rep, Mr. McMillan, who authored this beauty also co-sponsored SB 101 – which many of you may or may not know is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

You remember that one right? George Takei had an issue with it and people were boycotting Indiana. Or for those not familiar – the one those pizza guys got flack for and then got all that money because they refused to cater a gay wedding.

Co-author Rep. Pierce also co-authored HCR 75: Acknowledging the tragic assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the fact that he “truly belongs to the ages”.

Didn’t he die in 1865? It’s 2015 right? History buff wasting time and state funding? What exactly does this do and who does it do it for? And how much is this costing us?

Co-author Rep. Steuerwald sponsored SB 306 which reads to me that a person can go ahead and trespass on your property provided he/she doesn’t harm you or your child. Anything else is fair game.

Ok, by this time my stomach’s pretty much turning, so the other four yahoos tied to this law are off the hook for now because yeah.

Seriously?

Do people read this the same way I am? I mean, click on the link above and it’ll have links to everything else that the representatives have done plus goes into more detail (more or less) about this and other bills and amendments.

If they do, are they not the least bit concerned?

We have traffic laws being made up and passed by these people.

Am I the only one just a bit perturbed by all this? Help me out!

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