The current ad hoc project - "click it or ticket," regarding the charging of South Carolina drivers for not buckling their seat belts is a thinly veiled mandate to raise taxes on motorists. Though this is the most traveled time of the year special, statues should not be enacted monitoring and restricting citizens movements. Seat belt laws, like all laws, should be obeyed and enforced year round, not just during the holidays.
Today the cumulative effect of nitpicking, hair-splitting exploitative citations for tinted windows, loud music and questionable speeding, etc. only enhances road rage. However, I am not advocating law enforcement's abdication of its responsibility. Officials should do their jobs, evenhandedly, but not overwhelmingly. Whatever happened to a warning ticket?
Given the increasingly expanding complexity of playing cops and robbers innocent bystanders and jaywalkers should not become casualties. Why should a gathering family become entangled in a web of debate on the parity of law enforcement during a reunion? Why should enforcement officials who disregard or ignore certain misdemeanors all summer suddenly become cold and grinch-like in winter? Who decides and what determines which roadways and neighborhoods checkpoints are set up in?
These disturbing questions, if answered honestly, would produce some even more disturbing answers. It would be laughable if it was not so serious that the same people, big-shots, who vilified the idea of a lottery have seldom, if ever, been inside and seen the take raked in by the court system. Ironically, the poor pay more financially and socially. Enter any courthouse and see for yourself...
Robert "Tunk" Martin, Edgefield
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