David Stokes

On April 6, I wrote about the creeping state control of our lives in the name of safety.  I was pleased with efforts to repeal the motorcycle helmet law and oppostion to a primary seat belt law allowing cops to ticket people for not wearing a seat belt without some other cause for the pullover.  Anyway, I now stand to fight (in my own web way) again.  The State Senate has unfortunately passed a primary seat belt law, giving officers another way to fine us for not living our lives as the state tells us to.  Well, not mine really, as I am pretty good about wearing my seat belt, but the larger issue is what is important here.  I now hope the state House of Representatives can continue to fight this off. 



In similarly upsetting news, the City of St. Louis is now operating red-light cameras at a few intersections.  I am amazed these things are allowed from a constitutional perspective, but I assume that issue has been settled already.  I know several county municipalities have installed them as well, so thankfully local government can now surveill us as we merely drive the streets.  While I normally oppose running red lights, I have major issues with turning law-enforcement authority over to for-profit enterprises.  And if I, as someone whose main role at a think tank is researching and advocating government privatization and consolidation, think that, then I have to imagine others out there share that view.  Its like if Timothy Leary told you to avoid drugs because they're dangerous or if Matty Alou told young hitters to take more pitches.  Red Light cameras are not about safety for government - they are about collecting revenue using safety as a cheap excuse that too many people but into.      

About the Author

David Stokes
David Stokes was a policy analyst at the Show-Me Institute from 2007 to 2014 and was director of development from 2014 to 2016.