"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Who Deserves To Drive?

>> Monday, January 29, 2007

Shame on The Des Moines Register.

Sunday's paper SCREAMED at me: THE STATE IS MORE LIKELY THAN EVER TO TAKE AWAY YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE WHO DESERVES TO DRIVE? (The words highlighted in red were also highlighted in the paper) Click to read the article.

It seems that the Register wants us to feel nothing but pity for those poor, poor people who can't pay the fines they have racked up from speeding tickets, OWIs, driving without insurance and other offenses. It's almost a side note to the Register that these people A) broke the law in the first place and B) are continuing to do so by driving on suspended licenses.

One woman they profiled in their "investigation" is a single mother of 3 who worked two jobs (all together now...awww...) and has nearly $700 in fines for speeding, driving without insurance and driving with a suspended license. All I can say to this is: It's a damn good thing she didn't hit someone while she was driving without insurance. That $700 would look pretty damn good, then.

Another profile, a "repeat offender" is what they label her is 24 and admits that she has a problem with speeding. Her license was suspended for failure to pay a $100 ticket. She then "racked up four convictions, plus fines, for driving with a suspended license". During a 14 day stint in jail she lost her job and apartment (again.... awwww....). Now, here's the kicker; she currently owes almost $3600. She admits to knowing that she should have paid her fines but wonders if her punishment fits her offenses. Ummm, yeah, it does.

There are four other profiles from Sunday, all with the same "hard luck" tag. All with photos looking pensively off at something or looking into the camera holding their court papers.

Far from tugging on my heartstrings this article has just annoyed me. There are about 29,000 Iowans who owe at least $500 for driving related offenses that haven't paid anything. Assuming the average owed is $1000 (which is probably low) that is $29,000,000 owed to the state. Hmmm, is anyone else thinking that money could be put to good use?

The Register seems to want us to believe that driving is a right. I hate to remind them, but driving is a privilege; one that should be revoked if you abuse it. Period.

In the wrong hands a vehicle is nothing more than a two ton bullet; one wrong move and those unpaid fines will be the least of your worries


CCHuff 6:20 AM  

Darn, I hate the liberals who would have us believe that no one is responsible for their own actions anymore and that the rest of us owe them sympathy and support.

As you said, driving is a privilege. Obey the laws and guess what. NO PEOBLEM!

Blog Author 7:11 AM  

Please condense this and send it to them as a letter to the editor.


(I saw that yesterday as I flipped through the paper in the main office at work - but didn't have time to read it. Thanks for the update!)


Amanda B. 8:32 AM  

When I was a teenager, I lost my license, paid my fines, waited my time to get my license back, and was on high risk insurance for years. It was MY FAULT. And I paid for it bigtime.I didn't pussyfoot around thinking it would magically go away. The Register rag just needs to go away. And all the pitiful whiny crybabies with their hands out wondering why it happened to them need to be taken out of the gene pool.

But I know there's one weirdo that thinks they got the short end of the stick and thinks the government should forgive and forget.

I guess I should be thankful it wasn't Hillbillery Rotten Clinton's dopey face blown up on the front page.

Amanda B. 8:34 AM  

Speaking of dopey faces, check out Opus in the comics section.

Marie 9:21 AM  

"Lopez later said there was no way he could pay the fines on his $10 an hour wage. He said he would try to take the bus or catch rides from friends and co-workers.
"But you know, sometimes I have to drive to get where I need to go," he said. "It's not right, but people have to live." "

Oh my gosh!!! I've never seen anything like this in our paper, and NY is mega mega Leftie-land.

Yeah, my heart bleeds for them. NOT!

Live and learn, buddies.


Wow. People really need to take responsibility for their own actions. 29 mil is a lot of money.

Unknown 1:10 PM  

Along the same lines? Here in WI they reported (yes, it made the news) that this weekend the police ticketed two people for OWI...one with 3 OWIs and the other with 5 OWIs.

Like just how many strikes do they get before we do something drastic or do they need to kill a nice family before it's really an issue?

Fantastagirl 8:53 PM  

Driving is NOT a RIGHT...you have to earn it - and I do not feel sorry for any of them - can you imagine if they were in a accident?

I am so tired of people not accepting responsibility for their actions. If you speed - then you will get a ticket, if you chose to not pay the ticket - then sit in jail. How does the saying go - if you can't do the time, then don't do the crime.

Ben 3:01 AM  

I agree, people definitely need to step up to the plate.

lila 9:25 AM  

Great Post Jodi!

They have to live huh? How is it that they do not think of this before driving and drinking or speeding etc...?

I too am in Wi. and the so-called tougher laws are useless if not enforced. A 5th OWI is a felony here--supposedly.

We could learn something from Colorado and TX--they do not mess around.

The fines are not that big of a hardship as I know from family members who have gone through this that the countys bend over backwards allowing payment schedules--sheesh.

My sister in Co. who was always a speeder finally got caught--a huge fine and a years probation that required community service, classes and IF she got caught driving while suspended--mandatory Jail time. (she learned Denvers bus system well)

roy.j.poppe 11:43 AM  

I agree driving is not a right but a privilage. But I think that the whole outlook about licensing should be revisited. Why is it that children are considered adult enough to drive at 16 years old? I think it is 14 YO if they are just going back and forth to school. But they are not adult enough to touch alchohol until they are 21? The driving age should be raised to 18 years old. That would keep a lot of imature people off the road. And the drinking age should be lowered to 12 with parents/guardians, 16 for beer and wine and 18 for hard alcohol. That way children would learn to drink with supervision. It works that way in europe, although it varies by country. By the time they got their licences they would have an idea how alchohol affects them. Raising the driving age would anger a lot of parents because they would have to run their little darlings to all their school events themselves. This could be resolved by funding school shuttles. Like a school bus but designed to take students home after their events. (practices, meetings, etc). That would conserve fuel and keep extra cars off the road. And it would keep inexperianced drivers off the road as well. I am sure nobody will agree with me, and that is the least of my radical ideas!

Jody 2:08 PM  

Heimagin- I wasn't going to respond because you really didn't stick to the point of the post but then I realized that I had quite a bit to say... So here goes:

I can't say that I disagree with the driving age being changed; you are right, many immature people drive. Unfortunately some of them are in their early 20's. Raising the minimum age might help a bit but it wouldn't alleviate the problem.

Most European countries don't have a drinking age. It is a personal responsibility issue- something many Americans seem to have misplaceed. Which is why we have a drinking age. But, in Europe, if you are caught drinking and driving you lose your license forever- no second chances. In fact, all the drivers profiled would never be allowed to drive again in most European countries.

Since most people seem to be used to shuttling their "little darlings" around until they are 16 I don't really think a couple more years would faze them too much. Especially if they have more than one child- they are probably already out shuttling someone somewhere.

And if we are talking about funding something and conserving fuel why aren't more small cities with lots of suburbs (like Des Moines) investing in light rail? That would certainly get my car off the road. (We used the Tube when we were in London. LOVED IT! So easy and it went everywhere.)

I tried to link to your profile but it is blocked. I do wonder how old you are because I can remember saying many of those same things when I was young and liberal.

Tamara B 3:42 PM  


Amanda B. 9:45 PM  

Believe it or not, farm kids could get school licenses to drive to school and back home unsupervised when they were 14. Then again, I was driving farm vehicles when I was 11. Farm kids had responsibility.

I could just see what kids with free reign on alcohol would do in this city. Not to mention that some families are having trouble with them staying off of drugs. Anyway, a teenager alone can be smart. A bunch of teenagers can be stupid and dangerous. Peer pressure can be a killer.

Aaron 9:54 PM  

Even as a liberal, I have absolutely no sympathy for these people. They made the choice to break whatever law it was to get them a fine in the first place, whether it was DUI or just speeding. If you are going to choose to break the law, you need to be ready to pay the consequences!

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