I was reading the Washington Post this morning and I happened to come across this article.
D.C.’s List Of Don’ts Grating on Some Nerves
Official Defends Safety Crackdowns
By Eric M. WeissWashington Post Staff Writer
A parking ticket on your windshield used to be as far as the stubby arm of District law would reach. But now, drivers are ticketed by robot cameras, holding a cell phone when driving is verboten and no one is allowed to have more than one drink at a time at city bars. Last week, D.C. police were handing out $10 tickets for jaywalking.
It makes some people wonder whether the District is turning into a Big Brother “nanny state.” With these official efforts to make urban life safer, is there danger of Washington losing some of its buzz and the organic street life that makes a city a city?
“If there was no crime, everyone had a job and affordable housing, then the city can start being paternalistic,” said Kevin Cuddy, 33, of Logan Circle, who was handed a warning Friday for jaywalking on 16th Street NW, even though 10 seconds were remaining on the crosswalk indicator when he stepped off the sidewalk. D.C. police say it is against the law to begin crossing the street when the red hand appears, regardless of the time left.
In addition to the jaywalking crackdown, District officials also are enforcing restrictions on tinted car windows and cyclists running red lights. Intersection monitors are posted at key gridlock points during rush hour. Jersey barriers surround many formerly accessible buildings in the city while surveillance cameras watch overhead. Children in vehicles must be strapped into car seats until age 8. District leaders are considering a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants.
Read the rest of the article here.
I’m all for the safety of the city, but come on…this seems a little extreme. What really bugs me is the handing out of tickets for jaywalking. What’s the point of having a countdown on the crosswalk if you can’t even cross the street while it’s still counting down? No more than one drink in a bar? Of course safety of drivers and those they could affect is important, but lets be slightly realistic. What is the city coming to?