That didn’t take long

Last week, State Troopers in Maryland’s Montgomery County decided to give us all a helping hand on driver safety. They set up checkpoints in the Rockville area and issued fines and citations to those who did not comply with the new national regulations requiring all passengers to be securely fastened to their seats. Violators were fined but would not lose points.

On the surface, this really shouldn’t be a problem. Except that the checkpoint, like alcohol sobriety checkpoints, were set up at night. And in order to counteract the reduced visibility, troopers used nightvision goggles borrowed from the Maryland National Guard. Is there a lawyer out there who can tell me what the implications for items purchased on a National Defense Budget being used for the purposes of local law enforcement are?

I remember seeing the story on the evening news and thought it was odd that they were using the goggles to look into a vehicle. Sort of brings up some of Tom’s concerns. Before this whole thing tips off a “right to privacy” or “reasonable expectation of privacy” debate, just know that Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich came down hard on the program.

One the one hand this is a serious matter. At least a significant one.

In Maryland last year, 49 percent of the 643 people who died in traffic collisions were not wearing a seat belt.

So while it wasn’t right to identify violators in the manner that the MSP did, I still believe that the campaign needs to be supported. So Buckle Up DC, it’s the law, even if it’s illegally enforced!

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