Friday, January 29, 2010

Car Stuff

Andrew Bird sent me this link asking for my take on it. Apparently some in Sacramento don't like free parking spaces and want to offer incentives to local governments to reduce the availability of free parking.

What can I say? This is just more of the same that comes out of Sacramento where too many people seem to have way too much time on their hands. And I'll have to say- sorry, Andrew- the vast majority of this crap comes from Democrats if for no other reason than the Republicans, being the minority, usually can't get their bills even started in committee.

Funny thing is, the vast majority of the complaints I've read, both here and in the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat, are about the lack of free parking spaces. If this new law comes to pass will the voters take it out on the Democrats next election? Don't bet on it.

Another good reason to return to a part- time legislature.
This just in from the San Jose Mercury News: Laws prohibiting driving while talking on cell phones haven't reduced accidents. Naturally, another Democrat wants to increase penalties for celling while driving and even wants the ban applied to bicycles.

Well, I think he's got at least one thing right: It's not so much that talking on cell phones while driving doesn't cause accidents, it's that the number of people talking on cell phones while driving hasn't changed. If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if even more people talk on phones while driving than they did before the ban.

Ok. That might seem a stretch, but I've said before I've noticed up to 1 in 3 cars passing by my house with drivers obviously talking on cell phones. Some of the people I know have hands free devices:

Joy and Marc I know have hands free, but they don't use them. I assume Rob Arkley would have a hands free device but he seems to be chatting without one at least every other time he drives by. Don't know if Eureka City Council dude, Mike Jones, has one, or not. I often see him chatting away.

Whatever. Like I've said, I was opposed to the cell phone ban from the start, but now that it's here I hope you all get a ticket or two. Do I agree with efforts at steeper fines for celling while driving? Probably not. I'd rather see them come up with some way to stop people from talking on cell phones while shopping. I find that really annoying. But I'm a libertarian so I probably don't want to go there.


At 6:59 PM, Anonymous Andrew Bird said...


I agree this is over the top. That is why I sent it to you. I don't understand the "logic" behind it, and we certainly have other priorities to deal with in California right now. I knew you would give it the proper treatment.

As for the hands-free driving issue, your observations mesh with what I have observed as well. While afoot waiting for the light to change to cross busy intersections in downtown Eureka, I often pass the time tallying the number of drivers who have a phone to their ear. Sometimes they hold the phone just below window level and talk into it. One in three is about right. And, yes, the probable reason the law hasn't reduced accidents is because the law is by and large ignored.

Take care!

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Rose said...

California legislators ought to have one priority right now and only one - and that is getting the State back on track financially. Instead:

...the state — which is bankrupt and occasionally pays its bills in IOUs — will send subsidies to locales that eliminate free parking. What that means is that Californians will actually subsidize an increase in fees. They’ll pay twice every time they park: once with the subsidies, and once again to park where it used to cost nothing to do so.

Advocates argue that free parking isn’t really free, because business have to maintain parking lots, as do government offices. But those costs get figured into the cost of the goods and services provided, especially in the private sector. What’s more, the costs get passed only to the consumers who choose to frequent the stores. By providing financial incentives such as tax breaks, everyone has to pay for the parking spots that disappear through the lost tax revenue of the incentives, which will have to be made up elsewhere.

Even if this was good policy — which it isn’t — the priorities of the state legislature seem just as askew as a broken cow tail. Two years into a budget crisis, the state seems a lot more interested in sticking to the taxpayer for their own idea of social engineering instead of fixing the mess they have made of the state budget.
California legislature attacks the biggest issue it can handle


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