The changes required in Tennessee traffic enforcement will be long in coming because of popular opinion that defends abusive mechanisms that harass blacks, the poor and strangers in the land.
Common people of the sort who use Facebook universally reject the idea of a transportation stop reform that “lets people off” or ends the mass surveillance implied in commercial enforcement of traffic laws on private parties.
By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio
Reaction to an account of East Ridge traffic court is entirely negative, with people defending the status quo. “Uhm, so people with suspended licenses, no licenses, no insurance are being charged with a crime. I’m not seeing a story here,” says Chris Stephenson.
“What the hell are you talking about?” demands another. “Stop breaking the law! Targeting people that refuse, obviously, to obtain license and proper insurance.”
The problem in view is the overbroad enforcement of the Tennessee transportation statute, Tenn. Code Ann. Title 55, upon people not involved in transportation — which is the for-profit and extraordinary use of the people’s roadways.
Another commenter complaints about deadbeats. “ So what they are saying is that if you are poor you don’t have to obey the law,” complains Melissa Ann Floyd.
For another it’s inconceivable that anyone would object to the licensing scheme, seeing as how it is to cheap to get a driver license. “It costs absolutely nothing to follow the law,” says Richey Goldberg.
Defending the Tennessee Code Annotated Title 55 gives the impression that one is anti-police. “Wow, he’s a special kind of stupid,” says Carol Wilson. “Why don’t you take your police bashing politics somewhere else. We here in East Ridge love and appreciate our police department.”
“This is crazy,” declares Debbie Page. “The law says you must have a drivers license and insurance in order to drive. If you don’t and you are caught that means you suffer the consequences.”
Grace softens the hard line
This reflexive defense of the way things are is mixed with mercy. Mr. Perry, general manager of a wrecker service and resident of East Ridge, tells of a young Hispanic woman who damaged his private property but who made compensation without his having to call the police on her.
“Last year my last year a young Hispanic mother ran into my fence at my house,” he says. “She had no DL. She had no insurance. She is here illegally. Now if I call the police they could arrest her, and separate her from her 5 yr old daughter. I won’t be that person. It was pure luck that she had a friend that worked for fence company. We agreed not to call police if he fixed my fence. It worked out well.”
Mr. Perry personally is one of mercy and lenity; he seems to have acted in Christian grace. But his ideas about the law and enforcement are fixed, and he seems unwavering in a belief in the licensing and regulation of all people on the roadways, even private users not subject to the statute nor liable for performance under it..
“What if she hit my car in the driveway?” he demands. “They could not afford to pay for the damage. Anyone who operates a vehicle without a DL, or without insurance is a criminal. The stronger the penalty, the better of everyone is.”
Mr. Perry has no grace for this writer, however. “I think it should be a felony to operate a vehicle without a DL and carry at least liability insurance. Who is this dumb ass reporter?”