Brickbats

Brickbat: Just the Warm Up

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Car in snow
Andrei Malov / Dreamstime.com

A Michigan judge has upheld a $128 fine against Taylor Trupiano for warming up his car. Trupiano left his car running on his driveway back in January because he didn't want his girlfriend and her 2-year-old son to get into a cold car on a freezing day.

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  1. Similar stupid bylaws exist all over. Pretty sure my shithole of a municipality has this one too.

  2. We’ve hashed this ground a couple of times now. We’re all in agreement, right? This is nuts,right?

    How many of you northerners have remote starters? That’s kind of a normal thing in the great white north, isn’t it? It is even a factory option these days, for crying out loud.

    Oh, while we are talking about crazy, rent-seeking behavior – the wife and I had a dinner date last weekend. The parking lot had one of those pay-by-phone apps. So we downloaded and installed the app. It took from the car, across the parking lot and a half-a-block away to get the parking paid. In that time the guy in his little Cushman hurried in behind us and wrote a ticket. The ticket was at 7:37. Our paid timestamp was at 7:38. We probably parked at 7:34 or 7:35.

    On the back of the ticket it says you have 10 days to appeal, but if you appeal and lose you get assessed full court costs.

    So their guy gets to decide if they get to take your money or not. And they hold a 10x increase in the cost over your head to keep you from rolling the dice. Nice. Plus, it was a touristy area, so I’m sure they are looking to soak the travelers who can’t stay around to fight the ticket. My instinct is to fight them until hell freezes over. But my wallet says just shut up and give them the $25. We’ll see what happens.

    1. Had a similar issue years ago in downtown Philly.

      Went to park at a metered spot. Wanted an hour. Put in a quarter, nothing changed. Run inside a convenience store and get change. Start feeding in more money. No time added. Look around and no other spots open. By this time I probably put at least in a dollar in the meter. Try one more quarter and get 30 minutes. Try another quarter nothing. See a PPA (Philadelphia Parking Authority) officer and let him know the meter is broken. It appears to register with him so my friend and me decide to rush our trip to the music store and get back before 30 minutes. 20 minutes later we’re back–meter has expired and I find a ticket on my window.

      Fine was small–maybe $30-$40 dollars but I was furious. Decide to fight it–they add more costs onto the ticket. Take a day off from work and bring friend as a witness. Get into the “courtroom”–which is nothing more than an office desk with a little dictator behind it. Tell her my story. She says “no one reported any meters in that area as broken”–which was bullshit as there were a few with yellow tape on them. I explain what happened and my witness corroborates. Judge says “I don’t believe your story but I’ll let you go”.

      I’ll never forget that series of absurdity which likely propelled me into full-fledged libertarianism. Nothing like dealing with bureaucracy to get you to look into ways in which to dismantle it.

      1. Remember that show? What was it? The one about parking maids.

        This is an example of a dysfunctional and pointless bureaucracy. They’re always finding ways to steal money from citizens.

        1. meter maids.

          If I were Mayor, that would absolutely be one area I’d seek to change or dismantle.

          1. Yes, Mr. Mayor. We can end parking enforcement with just a quick executive order. I could draft one for you this afternoon.
            …buuuut, we receive a significant pile of revenue from our parking enforcement and cuts would have to be made in other areas.

            So, your choice is foregoing the remodeling of your office and provision of a driver/security detail or continuing to fuck over people with cars?

            1. In addition to the revenue there is the issue of allocating a limited resource. There are only so many parking spaces in desirable areas. In the ‘burbs we solve this problem by building shopping malls with enormous free parking lots.

              In the city they do it by charging for the space. Or selling permits to park. Which would be the more libertarian solution, except for the rent-seeking government monopoly. Or worse, the public-private partnership with government force behind a private contractor that collects the revenue (which is what is happening in my case). That monstrous hybrid results in on group operating with an eye to maximizing revenue, and the other being happy as a clam. Since the public is not the customer, there is no negative feedback to the company when they behave badly. Really the worst of both worlds.

  3. If you leave your car running unattended in the driveway, bad things can happen. Like a cop writing you a ticket.

  4. Less than two weeks later, two vehicles were stolen, both from people who started their vehicles and left them unattended. One lead to a high-speed chase and another occurred when a car was taken with two children inside, the city attorney said.

    “There is an important public safety goal this is trying to achieve by having these regulations on the books,” Tomlinson said.

    I appreciate that they go to the effort of pretending that this is about anything but collecting revenue.

    1. Agree. If you’re going to lie to me at least make it a good story.

    2. One point for invoking the children.
      One point for public safety.
      One point for LEO safety.
      Bonus point to the writer for misspelling led.

      1. He would’ve won if there were another point for the environment.

  5. You have learned valuable lessons.
    1. You don’t own your real property. You cannot decide what happens on your property. Just pay the real estate taxes.
    2. You don’t own your car. You cannot decide what to do with it. Just pay the property taxes and tag fees.
    3. Taking a child into a freezing cold car is NOT child abuse. It is the preferred way to handle that child.
    4. If you were a good person, you would be richer so you could afford a car with remote start.
    5. An expensive car with remote start is less of a hazard than a cheaper car started by a human.
    6. Your real estate taxes, and property taxes are more important to the government than a child.
    Now go and sin no more. And pay your taxes.

    1. People wonder why I live in Taiwan. My rent is two hundred ten (US) dollars per month. My income tax is seven and a half percent. I earn a carton and a half of cigarettes per hour and have very good (nationalized) health care. The co-payment is about five dollars. The government doesn’t do asset forfeiture. And I much prefer twenty-something nubile nymphets. I can’t have a gun, but neither can any other civilians, and the cops can’t carry firearms off-duty. Besides that, they rarely even use handcuffs (they didn’t when I got a DUI, except when I was brought into the courthouse for arraignment). People here mind their own business (I live in a building full of gamblers, dopers, and prostitutes, as well as nuclear families). Unfortunately, the Taiwanese government has increasingly looked towards the USSA for inspiration in regards to legislation and law enforcement. Due to climate, heating up a car is not an issue. Milton Friedman explained the great benefits of living in a foreign country as a guest, but I can’t find the Youtube video right now. I tried to find it but I’m cooking dinner.

  6. A Co-Worker just this winter had the same thing happen here in Maryland. Except the cop was “kind” enough only to give him a warning.

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