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We’re Here To Protect You…..Sorry We Killed You Instead

Well, we’re not really sorry.


If they were really sorry maybe they’d stop doing it.

Two stories, both on page 3 of today’s Asbury Park Press seem unrelated but have a common thread.  Bob Ingle’s column (not yet available on-line) discusses the effort by the great New Jersey State Senator Michael Doherty to ban the use of red-light cameras in the state.  Ingle points to many of the problems that I have detailed on these pages but also hits on one I missed completely:  Drivers, when stopped at a red light that has a camera, will no longer move over the stop line to let an ambulance through.  For them, it’s just not worth the hassle of having to fight the ticket that will inevitable arrive.  Precious minutes are now lost because the government thinks it’s cameras are making us safer (and them richer).  The consequences can be, and probably already have been, deadly for some emergency patients.

Related to this story, at least in my mind, is an item in the “Capital Quickies” column.  Titled “Overdose bill stalled in N.J.”,  it, too, is unavailable on-line.  The story describes the so-far fruitless efforts by Patty DiRenzo, the mother of an overdose victim, to get the government to give immunity from prosecution to people who call 911 to report a companion’s overdose.  As it stands now, the police arrest everyone at the scene, so nobody calls for help.  This is one of the many ways that the government’s war on drugs kills people.  

Ms. DiRenzo’s idea seems like a no-brainer, and therefore lies the problem.  Brainpower and government in this state appear to be mutually exclusive terms.   



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