Toll Wars

We occasionally drive north to visit grandchildren (and their parents). It’s a great drive through Delaware (and sometimes even into central New Jersey), but when you get near New York City, it’s a mess. At one point it took us three hours to go from the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to the middle of Long Island. Traffic in and around New York City is always a mess. So what is the solution?

One America News Network posted an article today about one ridiculous idea.

The article reports:

A mayor in New Jersey is suggesting a commuter tax on New York City residents in retaliation for the Big Apple imposing fees on drivers coming from his state.

This week, Jersey City mayor Steve Fulop suggested implementing a commuter tax on New York City residents leaving the city. This appears to be a rebuttal to New York approving plans to use automated license plate readers to impose fees on drivers entering Manhattan from New Jersey during rush-hour traffic.

The article concludes:

“We don’t see any incentives there for drivers,” explained Robert Sinclair, spokesman for the American Auto Association. “They’re still punishing their vehicles on bad roads and yet being asked to pay for the bulk of the funding to fix the subways and the commuter railroads.”

Fulop said both states should have a “regional conversation” to work out a long-term transportation agreement.

In the meantime, lawmakers are still working out how much money to tax commuters in New York City, with the policy expected to take affect by 2021.

You can’t force people to take public transportation, but you can make public transportation so attractive, convenient, and affordable that people will want to take it. That might be a better solution.

The Government Seems To Be Getting Even More Intrusive

On Friday, CNS News posted a story about a man arrested for driving a car with a secret compartment.

The article explains:

The Ohio law passed last year prohibits, “designing, building, constructing, fabricating, modifying, or altering a vehicle to create or add a hidden compartment with the intent to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance, prohibit operating, possessing, or using a vehicle with a hidden compartment with knowledge that the hidden compartment is used or intended to be used to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance.”

This seems to be a law against an intention rather than an actual crime. There were no drugs in the compartment. When I was a teenager, I knew someone who rerouted the air conditioning in his car to create a refrigerator in the glove compartment. I suspect he kept beer there, but he was old enough to buy beer; and if the bottles are not open, having them in the car is not illegal. Would his refrigerator have been cause for arrest in Ohio?

The article further explains:

Just days before Thanksgiving, 30- year old Norman Gurley was pulled over for speeding, but Ohio State Troopers noticed wires running to the back of the car he was driving.

“During the search, they noticed some components inside the vehicle that did not appear to be factory,” Lt. Michael Combs told WKYC-TV.

“We actually figured it out and followed the wiring and we were able to get it open,” said Combs.

I have a problem with this law. If there had been anything in the compartment, the police would have had every right to arrest the person, but I don’t see how they can justify arresting a man for driving a car with a secret compartment with nothing in it. I believe this is another chapter in the growing story of our government’s assault on our rights as Americans.

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