Click It Or Ticket (Guilty Until Proven Innocent Edition)
A couple years ago, I read a story – I think on CNN – about the ten regions of America with the worst traffic conditions. The Danbury/Bridgeport/Fairfield triangle in southwestern Connecticut made the list; this didn’t surprise me one bit, since I worked there at the time and dealt with miserable traffic every day. Naturally, local officials gave several concerned speeches about how it’s just terrible, the way Nutmeg State commuters have to waste time and money and gasoline sitting in traffic, so we, your elected and appointed officials, are by-God going to Do Something about it.
And Do Something they did: as I drove to work less than a week later, I had to spend 20 minutes idling because the police in their infinite wisdom decided to close the road and hold a “seatbelt checkpoint” during the morning rush hour.
We’ve had more checkpoints than usual this past month, thanks to the national “Click it or Ticket” campaign. So my column in this week’s Bristol Press, Middletown Press and New Britain Herald expresses sympathy for my former junior high school civics teacher, who’s had to write all-new lesson plans because the old ones he used to teach us about things like probable cause are entirely obsolete: he can no longer brag that in America, unless the cops have a good reason to suspect you’re up to something they have to leave you alone.
Jesus. Who would’ve thought I’d ever have reason to miss being in seventh grade?