Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Crossing the Line with Strange New Laws

Something is wrong up in Raleigh; which is home to our State Legislature here in North Carolina. Some bizarre new laws are being proposed; and in some quarters embraced; that would have an adverse impact on many of the state’s citizens. Literally and figuratively they have crossed the line.

The new traffic ordinance would erase decades of traffic engineering studies and allow you to pass on a double yellow line on a blind curve if the car in front of you is not going as fast as you’d like. Yes, there are requirements in there somewhere about the percentages of speed required to avail yourself of the rule. Let's see how that works out.

I suppose the effect of that safety factor will have drivers using their cellphones as calculators to determine if they are in compliance. But generally people will just pass one another as they do now anyway. I don’t mind if they want to die; I just feel sorry for the ones who are in that oncoming lane and will be feeling the full impact of this foolishly considered piece of legislation. 

Then there is the brilliant move to a flat fee; paid annually; for gas taxes which have always been paid at the pump at the time of purchase. This has always been the fairest way to tax the roads; it’s referred to as a “Use Tax.” The little old lady down the street; who uses her car to attend church once a week and pays about $1.50 in taxes based on about 5 gallons of fuel at 30 cents per gallon tax for an annual total of $78; will now have to fork over $210 at the end of each year. Meanwhile someone with an SUV or pickup who uses 50 gallons per week for a tax of $15 at the pump for a total of $780 per annum will be getting quite a break!

Our local laws are also getting just as twisted. Only one week after the Charlotte City Council voted down a new Gender Friendly ordinance; which would have let you use the public restroom you felt most comfortable with on any given day; the City is now touting the success which the schools are enjoying in the same sex classrooms being tested in one of the city’s Magnet Schools. I am not making this up. Just so you know; the laws don't bother me half as much as the inconsistencies.

But, consistency and reasoning has flown the coop in the great state of North Carolina. I remember when I moved here about 16 years ago. The biggest case of county corruption involved the misappropriation of $1,500 by a local councilman. Sue and I laughed aloud that this item even made the news.

Since then we have had politicians resign in disgrace and scandal; and the former Mayor of Charlotte is currently under Federal Detention for trying to sell the city. And, as far as new laws are concerned, the biggest story when we moved here was whether or not the old Confederate flag would be removed from one of the local parks. Well, those days are gone; and we ain’t laughing anymore.

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