Originally published December 5 2013
Proposed NJ law to ban eating, snacking while driving
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) Once upon a time, there were not so many driving laws, and drivers didn't need to wonder if they were doing everything by the book every time they saw a cop car. Granted, life has gotten more complicated, especially with technological advances, but it started getting too weird with seat belt laws for cars and helmet laws for motorcycles.
Some say those are "good laws," even though they were instigated by insurance lobbies that could have written policy clauses excluding certain injuries if seat belts and helmets weren't used, or adding riders for higher premiums for those who opted out. But making laws to enforce those policies created more city, county and state revenue from fines and federal funding.
Since 2005, federal money was an incentive for most states to adopt primary seat beat laws, which gave cops the authority to pull you over and ticket you for not having your seat belt strapped. Some states still maintain secondary seat belt laws which allow seat belt tickets to be given only after being stopped for another violation.
It's getting worse all the time, and the biggest big brother, the federal government with its printed money, are involved. New Jersey drivers and automobile association spokespersons are up in arms over proposed New Jersey legislation that would add to our growing police state.
Nikki's lawThe proposed New Jersey driving law is nicknamed Nikki's law. A teenager named Nikki was killed as a passenger in an auto accident when the person driving was distracted by using his cell phone, so it's claimed. And that's entirely possible. But New Jersey as well as many other states already has laws restricting hand-held cell phone use while driving.
Nevertheless, Nikki's dad went on a campaign to have his state representatives introduce legislation to make driver distraction laws even more open-ended.
The proposed law allows any bored cop to look for people who are snacking, drinking sodas or water, or peeking at a map, those who could be considered overly concerned with dashboard controls for ventilation or radio, or paying too much attention to GPS directions, or reaching over to handle a toddler, and who knows whatever else. You see, the cop will decide whether a driver is distracted by his or her own activity.
As one protesting New Jersey resident commented, there is already a reckless driving law. If someone is driving carelessly, let the driver be ticketed for that and realize why he or she was driving recklessly.
There has been an increase in roadside stops and inspections for various supposed reasons. Now, if you forgot to buckle up or your seat belt is inoperable, you're likely to be fined.
With this law, what if you come to a checkpoint and have a bag of chips or trail mix open on the passenger seat, or a cup of coffee in your dashboard coffee holder? What now? Yet, a New Jersey legislator wants to up the driving regulation ante even more.
State Senator Richard Codey intends to expand the state's law against talking and text messaging while driving to include drivers who are temporarily stopped in traffic jams, at red lights or at stop signs. Coddy even admits the real motivation is to put New Jersey in line for the federal "Distracted Driving Grant Program." More millions from federal government for increased intrusive police power.
Earlier, around 2002, an internet recording of an American Indian activist's live lecture, perhaps the late Russell Means, gently chided his audience for concerns about the "coming police state." Paraphrasing from memory, he said look around, you always see police or police cars. Many of you are looking out for them as you drive. You're already in a police state.
Sources for this article include:
The open-ended proposed Nikki's law:
The latest on NJ open-ended driver distraction laws:
Fed money for NJ driving laws:
Federal money incentives for primary seat belt laws:
About Russell Means - a very interesting, insightful fellow:
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