social comentary(political) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've been seeing alot of something these days that really ticks me off. It started happening when we started to "get tough on crime".

I live about 5 miles off U S Hwy 39. I use the road fairly often as I just started a new job that requires alot of driving. I'm seeing disabled, beater cars along side the road with parking tickets on them. I know they've been there for less than 24 hrs. The cars are well off the roads and are a hazard to no one but those who aren't paying attention to their driving.

It occurs to me that, because most of these cars are beaters they belong to someone who is not well off, maybe even poor. The last thing they need, in addition to having to incur the expense of getting the car home or to a repair garage or maybe even replacing the car, is a fifty dollar ticket for doing no harm to anyone. Its like kicking them while they're down.

One of the big socio-political issues ten yrs ago was dowwnsizing welfare. I agree there was alot of abuse and it was probably a good thing to put pressure on the ablebodied to get back to work. But is it necessary to persecute the poor tho because they likely can't afford better transportation? This simple thing becomes a "crime" of poverty.

Is this where we want the nation to go? Anything for a buck? How do the police figure this is "protecting and serving"? Its just not right.

-- john leake (, September 10, 2000


Yup, I agree. I havent been bothered here in Ozarks, but used to get hassled once in a while in Michigan. Up there they transferred their state cops ever so often. I lived in relatively poor area. Well, we'd get gungho new state cop once in a while that thought we all should drive nice new shiney cars and would give verbal warnings to get the beaters off the road or he'd ticket us everytime he saw us. Junkers started showing at the then open dump. It was easier to take them to dump than to salvage place 40 miles away where you didnt get but couple bucks for them anyway. One of their favorite ploys was to give tickets for faulty emergency brakes. The cables would rust solid in their sheathing after couple winters of road salt and at that time cost couple hundred to replace so any car over few years old was vulnerable. Once I just bought bulk cable and rigged my own emergency brake cables using electric conduit to sheath it, but this really made the cop mad and he gave me a fistfull of tickets for real or imagined offences. Few weeks later everything died down as the new cop got advised by other cops to cool it as majority of people in the area didnt have the money to buy new cars. One of the nice things about small communities, warnings and friendly advice get were they need to go eventually.

By way best thing to do instead of paying impound lot fees and all is to just remove your license plate and find a local impound lot auction or regular car auction and buy back your car or another equal/better clunker. If you are somewhat mechanical, you can get decent car this way. I have seen some ugly but drivable cars go for $50. Trouble is lot of poor people even have a time coming up with $50 to $200 in cash so are suckered into little used car lot that says nothing down and easy payments, giving way over $1000 plus interest for a $200 car.

Friend gambled on a mid 90's Ranger that looked real nice but no key from repo place for $1500. I replaced ignition key lock for him and he drove it home. He had been prepared to put another $1000 into it, but didnt have to. Plenty power and good compression.

-- Hermit John (, September 10, 2000.

The newest thing around here is THE HORRID OLDER MOBLE HOME,They have made it almost immposible for you to buy or sell an older moble home. If you don't want a huge morgage the building inspecter doesn't want you here..They also have started rules on driveways,this makes it inpossable for some people to use there property. This is in a county with 13% uninployment, and that was before they closed the plywood mill putting another 200 people out of work..I think the population in this county is only about 8 or 9 thousand so thats a lot of people..Only the independetly wealthy wanted here.. Doris in Idaho

-- Doris Richards (, September 10, 2000.

I think it's terrible to give them tickets. We just aren't allowed to have car trouble, huh? My husband broke down comming home from work at 11:30 at night. He had to run up the highway in a terrible storm just to get to a phone. A tie rod broke. I was so thankful he was allright. We did not have a ticket on the truck, an 81, but he was there first thing in the morning. A ticket would have made me cry and really wonder about our town. Maybe you could bring it to the attention of the local paper and do something about it.

-- Cindy in Ky (, September 10, 2000.

I gas gets much more expensive, they should expect to see a few vehicles abandoned that are not beaters!

-- sheepish (, September 10, 2000.

That would be "IF gas,"

Sheesh...been painting indoors for 11 hours. Can you tell? Too many fumes!

-- sheepish (, September 10, 2000.

Here in Alabama, many municipalities are passing junk car ordinances that allow wreaker drivers to tow any car not drivable for 30 days , even on private property. My wife lost a car in Indiana to this type of law because she couldn't afford to get the starter replaced on it before the deadline. They towed it right out of her driveway to be "parted out". These laws are supposedly to eliminate "eyesores", but in her case, she had it looking runable, washed and tires aired, but the wreaker driver snagged it after the time limit because she couldn't start it. Does anyone really believe her Trans Am was "parted out" ?

-- Jay Blair (, September 11, 2000.

This is just another example of what we in the "car hobby" call the "Zoning Gestapo". I've had run-ins in the past with the "inspectors" (back when I lived in Maryland). It was so bad, that if you had a vehicle in a barn or shed, and any part of the vehicle was visable from the street, if the zoning inspector saw it, you could be cited. A man I knew was restoring an old Mack truck, and was cited for that very reason, the rear of the frame stuck out of the barn by about 2 1/2 feet. They said it was an eyesore, but the butt-ugly box he built over the protruding frame was legal!! I had an old sports car that I was going to hot-rod. Since there were no licsense plates on it, it was (and I quote) a "health and safety hazard". I took an old plate out of the shed and attached it to the car. When the inspector came back to see if I'd taken care of the problem, he saw the plate, and said the car was now "legal". He didn't even notice that the plate had expired 2 or 3 years ago!! That one little piece of metal kept it from being a "health and safety hazard"!!! My race car was illegal because of no plates (??!!), but if it was on the trailer, it was legal. And I lived out in the "country". People wonder why I want to live out in the woods.

-- John D. in Pa. (, September 12, 2000.

When I lived in NJ, you'd here about people who would stack their a few cords of firewood around their vehicles to hide them from the authorities.

-- Eric in TN (, September 13, 2000.

Do any of you question my decision to be a Libertarian? Most of you are as well, you just haven't made the association yet! GL! and let's hope the Socialists gain power in neither NY state nor in Washington. Vote early and often!

-- Brad (, September 15, 2000.

Once I had a 1974 Opel. It had been my Grandpa's, then he sold it to Mama, and she eventually sold it to me. A fine little car, till the heater core went out. I had it parked near the mechanic's while I tried to decide if I should put the money into fixing it, or call it a day. It was not parked near anyone's property, it inconvenienced no one. Meanwhile, I was commuting to work at night by two buses, whose route took me nowhere near my languishing car. The city had it towed. The towing company sent me a notice which arrived the day after the auction, in which they they informed me that they were going to auction my car, unless I came up with $475 storage costs. My decision about fixing or not was thus made for me. Fine. A few weeks later, they sent me a notice billing me for an additional few hundred dollars, since the auction price had not yielded enough money. I ignored this and received several demands for payment from collection agencies for sometime to come. This eventually ended up on my credit record, and the bank manager questioned me about it when I was getting a line of credit for my business. I explained, and he said just put it in a letter for the file. I wrote: "My car was rustled by a towing company. When they didn't clear as much money as they wanted when they fenced the stolen goods, they tried to extort protection money out of me by threatening me with blackmail by ruining my credit record. It is not a debt, and I will never pay a cent on it. In the olden days, horse thieves were hung." I did get the line of credit for the business, by the way.

-- snoozy (, September 15, 2000.

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