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#1 2018-09-23 15:35:12

From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,313

Austin Chronicle: Driving is a privilege, not a right

The local "alt"-weekly has always been a friend of the car culture.  This is the paper that celebrates "Best DWI Lawyer" as one of the categories in its annual reader's poll.  I got my first taste years ago when they defended a Senator's drunk driving simply because he was a Democrat.

So, their recent cover story, "How to Jail the Poor", continues this theme.  There are some complicated nuances that I'm oversimplifying, but the gist of it is:

1. Driving is a privilege, not a right.
2. (a) Losing your license for not paying tickets for traffic violations (which meant you were threatening the safety of others) is a mere "financial failure".
    (b) It's not fair for poor people to lose their licenses under those circumstances.
3. Such people are mere "victims of circumstance".
4. Failure to pay fines for endangering others should never result in jail time.

Poor people suffer in all kinds of ways because the way the whole system (not just the driving system, but the whole culture) is set up.  But I feel that driving is a privilege, not a right, and if you can't afford to pay fines for failing to do so safely, you shouldn't get a free pass.


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