Saturday, April 24, 2010

Whose Responsibility?

Michigan’s Driver Responsibility law has been wreaking havoc on Michigan residents. Signed into effect under the premise of making the roads safer, this law seems to have become more of a drain on society than a remedy for traffic infringements.

Hefty state fees levied against motorists, on top of the already astringent local municipal fees, are a devastating reality for those who are already struggling to make ends meet. And this is all in the name of the state’s attempt to raise money to bring down the deficit.

While the idea of using people’s negligence as a way to deter them from breaking traffic laws seems like a good idea in theory, lawmakers really needed to take a closer look at how this law would affect an already recessed economy.

The Michigan unemployment rate is at an all time high, and if drivers can’t pay the additional fees to keep their licenses active then they run the risk of accumulating more fines for driving on a suspended license. But if one can’t get back and forth to work, how can they be expected to pay their bills? It’s not like Michigan has a large effective mass transit system that those with hindered licenses can use as an alternative.

So what is the solution? Since people should be held accountable to adhere to the traffic laws to ensure the safety of everyone on the road, perhaps the driver’s responsibility law could be modified to make provisions scale the 2 year fee down to a 1 time fee that is a certain percentage of the original fine. Or perhaps if one is unable to pay the fee, they can have the option of doing some sort of community service instead.

We understand that the State of Michigan is in a financial sling, but the state government cannot realistically expect to solve our financial woes on the backs of people who are struggling just to get by. So it is up to us as voters to hold the people that we put into office responsible for addressing our needs.

Don’t wait for someone else to speak up for you, be proactive in making sure that your voice is heard. If your life has been or is currently being affected by the Driver Responsibility Law pick up a pen or put in a phone call to your state representative and let them know what’s on your mind. After all, your tax dollars pay their salary, so technically you’re paying them to listen to you and service your needs

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