Nods at the Law
by Peary Perry
see….the word ….illegal, what was the meaning of that word again?
Oh, yes….as I recall it means something is against the law. I think
the key word here is …against. This means the opposite of for the
law…it’s against the law…seems like it should be very clear.
However up in the great city of Dallas,
Texas, there seems to be a heated discussion going on at this
time over whether or not persons driving motor vehicles should be
required to have liability insurance or not. It seems some silly old
mean council person drafted a ordinance that allows the police to
tow your car or truck if you don’t have a valid insurance policy for
You’d think this was a no brainer wouldn’t you?
Apparently not in Dallas, Texas.
Nope, the ordinance was opposed by several council members who felt
that having insurance would place an undue hardship on those who cannot
afford any more expenses. The ordinance was opposed on the basis that
poor people should not have to choose between food, shelter, clothing
and insurance. One member of the council stated their opinion by saying
that they wanted the police to be ‘enforcing the law and fighting
crime….not writing tickets to the poor in our society who cannot afford
to buy car insurance’.
I’m sorry, but I thought driving without insurance was already a crime
in this state. Just because it’s somewhat inconvenient and places
a financial burden upon others, is that a reason to allow members
of our society to drive anywhere they want, have wrecks and get off
free because they could not afford to buy insurance?
I don’t think so.
If we use that analogy, then why lock people up for theft or selling
drugs? After all, these people are just stealing or selling drugs
because they’re broke and don’t have the money to pay their bills.
Why enforce the law at all? In fact why even have any laws of any
kind at all? You and I know that there are some laws out there that
are not going to make everyone happy, so why have any at all?
Why not just let people observe whatever laws they want to observe
and skip the rest if it isn’t convenient to them?
I don’t like red lights and speed limits, so why should I bother?
Why not just drive as fast as I want and run every light I come to
at every intersection?
Because there is a law that says I must obey these laws in a civilized
The burden of financial distress for allowing uninsured drivers works
both ways. If an uninsured driver hits some person, then that person
is forced to fix the damage out of their own pocket or file on their
own insurance which will probably make their own rates go up when
it comes time for renewal. Go one step further, let’s say a woman
is walking across the street to go to work and some uninsured driver
hits her. The driver could not afford insurance because he is paying
for his food, shelter and other things, remember? So, who pays for
the lady’s injuries if not the driver?
I’ll tell you who. You and me…that’s who.
Perhaps we should set up some program to pay for everyone who can’t
afford insurance on their car. Remember driving is a privilege, not
a right. But let’s forget about that for a moment and just say that
our society should establish a fund to pay for everyone who can’t
afford something in order to meet the requirement of the law.
I’ll go for that as long as they establish a fund to pay for the traffic
tickets I’ll get for speeding and running red lights.
Why should I have to pay for something I can’t afford? Why can one
person consciously violate the law and others can’t? Why have laws
on the books if they are not going to be enforced? You probably are
saying something like… ‘boy are you cold hearted. …those poor people
I’m concerned over the poor in our society, but let’s be real….the
more we hand out, the more that gets expected to be handed out. A
gift today is a due tomorrow. We need better education and more job
opportunities to push people up in our society not keep them forced
down by winks and nods at the law. A practice that allows them to
skirt common sense as well as societal responsibilities does nothing
but harm all elements of our country.
All of us, at all levels of society, not just the poor.