Politics

Rhode Island House Surveillance Bill Would Automatically Fine Uninsured Drivers

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A bill that would install cameras along the highway with optical lenses capable of running plate numbers in a national database was passed Monday by the Rhode Island House.

The purpose of these cameras would be to capture uninsured motorists from any state and fine them as high as $120, which would be split between the state and the contractor in charge of upkeep of the cameras.

Republican Minority Whip Blake Filippi expressed concerns over this expansion of the surveillance state, citing George Orwell’s 1984. Rep. Robert Jacquard, who sponsored the bill and was only one to speak in support of it during the vote, diminished these concerns by stating “It’s no different than a red light camera. It’s just looking for a different violation.”

The bill was opposed the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will decide soon to move forward with the bill or reject it. Should they vote to pass it, the new cameras would go into effect January 2018.

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3 replies »

  1. There was a time when Americans believed in freedom.

    The US is dying from a million cuts. Part of the reason the USA is a nanny police state now is that whenever there is a problem, the kneejerk reaction in the US is to call for a new law.

    Nanny state laws are not the best solution, however. Nanny state laws lead to more laws, higher fines, and tougher sentences. Thirty-five years ago, DWI laws were enacted that led to DWI checkpoints and lower DWI levels. Seatbelt laws led to backseat seatbelt laws, childseat laws, and pet seatbelt laws. Car liability insurance laws led to health insurance laws and gun liability laws. Smoking laws that banned smoking in buildings led to laws against smoking in parks and then bans against smoking in entire cities. Sex offender registration laws led to sex offender restriction laws and violent offender registration laws.

    Nanny state laws don’t make us safer, either. Nanny state laws lead people to be careless since they don’t need to have personal responsibility anymore. People don’t need to be careful crossing the street now because drunk-driving has been outlawed and driving while using a mobile phone is illegal. People don’t investigate companies or carry out due diligence because businesses must have business licenses now.

    The main point of nanny state laws is not safety. The main purposes of more laws are control and revenue generation for the state.

    Another reason laws are enacted is because corporations give donations to lawmakers to stifle competition or increase sales.

    Many laws are contradictory, too. Some laws say watering lawns is required, while other laws say watering lawns is illegal.

    Many nanny state laws that aim to solve a problem can be fixed by using existing laws. If assault is already illegal, why do we need a new law that outlaws hitting umpires?

    Nanny state laws are not even necessary. If everything was legal would you steal, murder, and use crack cocaine? Aren’t there other ways to solve problems besides calling the police? Couldn’t people educate or talk to people who bother them? Couldn’t people be sued for annoying behavior? Couldn’t people just move away? Even if assault was legal, wouldn’t attackers risk being killed or injured, too? Do people have consciences? Having no laws doesn’t mean actions have no consequences.

    If there is no victim, there is no crime.

    We don’t need thousands of laws when we only need 10.

    Should swimming pools be banned because they are dangerous? Hammers? Bottles? Rocks? Energy drinks? Pillows?

    Where does it end?

    Freedom is not just a one way street. You can only have freedom for yourself if you allow others to have it.

    Control freaks might get angry when a neighbor owns three indoor cats, but what did the neighbor take from them? Why should this be illegal? Is outlawing cats something a free country should do? Doesn’t banning everything sound like the opposite of liberty?

    Instead of getting mad at people who like freedom, why don’t people realize that freedom is a two way street?

    If you allow others to paint their house purple then you can, too.

    If you allow others to own a gun then you can, too.

    If you allow others to swear then you can, too.

    If you allow others to gamble then you can, too.

    Who wants to live in a prison?

    Think. Question everything.

    Like

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