Posts Tagged ‘campaign finance laws’

Service of Nonsensical Laws and Regulations: Cockamamie Campaign Finance, Motor Vehicle Rules and Road Signs

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Stolen License 1

 

Pocket Laws

I thought it strange that Christine Quinn was reprimanded for paying for campaign activities out of her own pocket–it’s against the law–when the converse would seem to cause a problem. Read about this in The Wall Street Journal.

Plate Laws

We ran into an unsettling situation this weekend when we discovered the front license plate missing on our car [photo above]. I went back to where we park at the railroad station during the week and I didn’t find the plate. I was hoping it had fallen off or that kids had been up to mischief and had tossed it somewhere. I’ll never know why someone took the plate and one from at least one other car near where we’d parked [photo below, right].

Next stop was to the state troopers where I got a “Report of Lost, Stolen or Confiscated Motor Vehicles Items,” form and left the station puzzled and shaken. Stolen license 2

The desk trooper told me that I didn’t need to report one missing plate and wasn’t the slightest interested that at least one other car had been vandalized. This is a sleepy town where, thank goodness, nothing too bad happens so it’s not as though the station is overwhelmed with people in handcuffs hanging out in the lounge. I was the only visitor and a call came in while I was there about a woman overwhelmed in the heat.  

This nonchalance made no sense. My nephew, in the car business, confirmed my suspicion that someone taking plates was probably up to no good. He said to take care of the situation ASAP and noted that some use the good plates to sell stolen cars. I envisioned someone having an accident with my plate and causing complications for us–even though the car, plates and registration would not match.

toll boothThe Motor Vehicles clerk said that some use the stolen plates to rack up toll booth fees by zipping through without EZ Pass device or coin. We should be off the hook as of Monday when the clerk associated the car with a new license plate in the computer and trust we hear no echoes about the matter.

Back to the head-scratching, sloppy aspect of this: The form noted that the fee for the new plates–and registration–might be waived if a crime is involved. My form confirms this–so why not take that step? It seems like poor advice not to register such an incident with the police if only for self-protection. Can’t you just hear a judge or vendor such as EZ Pass ask, “Did you report this????” should a problem arise. It simplified the procedure with Motor Vehicles and we paid nothing for the new plates and registration certificate.

Last, according to both the trooper and the instructions: “If only one license plate was stolen and you had a two-plate set, turn in the remaining plate to the Motor Vehicles office.” It doesn’t say that you will be given new plates on the spot so bring a screw driver and extra bolts. Without this information why would you want to park a car on the street with no plates? In addition, if there were a way to keep the original plate number and clear our responsibility for last week I would have preferred it. We would have saved steps to contact the insurance company, EZ Pass, the company from which we lease the car and the parking company to record the new plates.

Thieves had to crouch in weeds to remove license plates.

Thieves had to crouch in weeds to remove license plates.

So far the cost in cash was $7.00 for the revised parking permit–the car dealer gave me the bolts—but the cost in time will be almost a day of work in addition to the stress of feeling violated. The trooper was not sympathetic, in fact he made me feel like an idiot because in looking for the latest registration form he noticed and smirked because we’d kept a pile of expired ones. [I’m not the only one as I found out when telling others of this experience.] He said having them in the folder wasted time. 55 mph speed sign

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While I’m addressing cockamamie rules and laws, why do we have traffic signs in Dutchess county that instruct drivers that the 45 mile per hour zone is over when it would cost the same to install one noting 55? We crawl behind umpteen drivers who don’t notice the passive sign and see only the 45 part of it.

Are there laws and regulations that don’t make sense to you? Do you keep copies of expired documents? Why do state troopers shrug at a theft that could lead to additional illegal behavior?

Right turn from left only

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