Roads becoming too dangerous to use

The AP article “ACLU: Driving rule penalizes poverty” in Friday’s edition of the Morning News reminds me of what the late, great Florence City Councilman Ray Turner said when asked what he would do about the high number of incarcerated young black males. He replied that he would strongly advise young black males to stop committing crimes. Or, as the theme of the TV police drama “Baretta” said: “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

The U.S. Constitution demands equal protection under law. Were the ACLU action to prevail, the headline could be rewritten as: “Driving rule penalizes wealth.”

Poor people might not be in control of their financial situation, but they are surely in control of their driving habits. Somehow, I’ve managed to not get any traffic tickets in 20 years. It didn’t require a great effort on my part. All one has to do to avoid traffic tickets is obey traffic laws.

Since becoming addicted to watching “Live PD,” it seems to me that an incredibly high percentage of drivers are driving without a valid license, without insurance and without a valid vehicle registration. Somehow I’ve managed to drive for 50 years without doing any of those things.

Between distracted drivers, unlicensed/uninsured drivers, reckless drivers and intoxicated drivers, the few responsible drivers on the road risk their lives, health and finances every time they go to work, school or the grocery store.

The S.C. Supreme Court, I believe, has ruled that a person cannot be incarcerated for their inability to pay a fine. The potential loss of driving privileges is the only remaining incentive for drivers to obey the laws. If even that is rendered ineffective, there will be no constraint whatsoever on bad driving.

The roads are literally becoming too dangerous to use.

MICHAEL J. YOUNG

Florence

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