Roads emptied out late this afternoon as drivers apparently heeded an extremely rare order issued by Governor Deval Patrick banning driving after 4 p.m.
Patrick announced the travel ban at a news conference this afternoon at the state’s emergency bunker, where he also announced that he was declaring a state of emergency to allow the state to take special steps and mobilize assets to ensure residents’ safety.
The penalty for driving after 4:00 PM on Friday? A $500 fine and/or up to a year in jail. A year in jail? Repeat drunk drivers don't get hit with that. Let that sink in. For the crime of getting into your car and traveling on the public road, you could conceivably be thrown in jail for longer than Unkie Alkie on his fourth OUI offense.
What bothers me even more is the general reaction to this order. Folks have been falling over themselves to congratulate the governor on this - as though forcing people to stay in their homes at gunpoint is something to be proud of. They point to the natural tendency of the vast majority of the American motoring public to be dumber than a box of rocks - A point I have made here for years - and that they need to be told to stay inside.
You see, we're too stupid to know what's best to do. We obviously need big nanny state government to do it for us. And for a large percentage of people, this is hunky dory. We're too stupid to stay off the roads! Please save us from ourselves! Now, personally, I'd much rather have seen something more like "Hey, this is a state of emergency; we advise strongly that folks stay off the road. If you do venture out and hinder the road crews, your car will be towed and a fine assessed." This way, you only hit the folks that deserve it.
But why wield a scalpel when a sword lets you intrude government more?
That is all.