Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cell Phone Ban & Fuzzy Math

Cell phone? We ain't got no cell phones! We don't need no cell phones. I don't have to show you any stinkin' cell phones!

**Update- It appears that House Majority Leader Fox & I are in agreement. The projected numbers don't add up.

I must be missing something here. I've been thinking about the Guv's supplemental budget proposal to raise state revenues or is it local?

--- "A $50 fine for talking or texting on a cell phone while driving a car that is expected to bring in $1.2 million in the last quarter of the year. That means about 24,000 drivers would have to be stopped, ticketed and convicted for cell phone infractions during the months of April, May and June to meet the budget quota." This from Jim Barron of The Pawtucket Times.

I'm still not sure how this would be enforced. And who is collecting the fines? Wouldn't it go into local coffers? Or is this only for state roads with State Police enforcing?
What evidence will the police use here? Are they all equipped with cameras? Remember, you can't be forced to testify/give evidence against yourself. So supposing you deny the validity of the charge. How will anyone know if you have been texting or not? Will your cell phone be liable for confiscation? Will your phone records also? Will warrants be needed? Who will investigate this? How much will it cost?

Sorry, this makes no sense. You can still use a phone with an earpiece, so evidently the perceived crime here is driving with one hand and having your attention diverted. Is this like when the driver in front of me this a.m. was combing her hair or when another driver was eating a sandwich? Or maybe it's more like driving with one hand & having an animated conversation or listening to the radio while singing along? No, that can't be it. No one but me has ever had a driving problem while trying to change the radio station or adjust the volume? Let's call it what it is- a way to grab extra monies from us.

Wouldn't it be wiser in cost-crunching times to have police actually focusing on, like, activities involving criminal activity instead of manufacturing new minor traffic violations for them to monitor?
Or is this what I've been writing about for awhile? Keep taxes down while burying us in fees, fines, and charges. Please don't actually get monies from us based on our ability to pay (or not). But then much of the Guv's new budget is like this (and always has been). Fuzzy math projects wonderful savings while never actually materializing because it's based on- maybe's, if's, and could be. Leave it to the Lege to do that actual hard work of balancing (and take the resulting fall). The Guv has made so many enemies with the blame game, that help must be hard to find. He hasn't exactly banked much "good will" here. As a former math teacher- he would have given himself an "F" for this project.
And we could have had Charlie Fogarty (tear).
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