Cellphone and seat belt laws have become a favored tool in the cities arsenal to raise revenue. Claiming that, something had to be done, West Virginia lawmakers took advantage of the hysteria and enacted new sweeping laws. Coincidentally, these laws have become an easy source of revenue.
Worse still, these tickets are virtually impossible to defend against. Issued at the discretion of the officer, a driver's only defense is his word against the word of police. You don't have to be Perry Mason to know who judges most often side with in such contests. Thus, these tickets often go uncontested, making it easy pickings for local governments to shore up budget short falls.
City officials claim these new laws are all about public safety, not raising revenue; therefore, citizens should trust these new powers will not be abused. These broad, revenue-generating laws are following other historical trends of public safety measures and has become addictive. With such large sums of money on the line, it comes as no surprise that police officers are being pressured to squeeze ever more money out of taxpayers.
I am not, I repeat, I am not condoning the use of cellphones or not buckling up, both are dangerous. What I oppose is the use of these laws as a revenue-generation source.
Do these revenue-generating processes make roads safer for residents?