Jacksonville, Fl – A proposed bill in Jacksonville, Florida would impose a fine on people who back their vehicle into their own driveway, effectively punishing those who practice this safe parking technique. Backing in would be allowed only if license plate information is clearly visible from the street.
Bill number 2015-377 is designed to help authorities crack down on abandoned vehicles, but in typical State fashion, it tramples on the rights of people to engage in the most innocuous of behaviors.
To aid city code enforcement inspectors in their revenue collection, the entire city of Jacksonville would suddenly be banned from backing into their driveway unless certain conditions are met, thereby creating a new source for revenue collection. How many residents will even know about the ludicrous new law?
Furthermore, if a person covers their vehicle or it the vehicle’s tag is not visible from the street, the person must post the tag information in 2-inch tall letters where inspectors can see it from the street.
This could drive the development of a new element in home landscaping—the State Obedience Emblem.
Notwithstanding the evisceration of a basic right on one’s own property, the proposed bill would create a more dangerous environment in neighborhoods. It is safer to back into the more controlled environment of a parking space than it is to back into a less controlled environment of a road. This is especially true in neighborhoods where children are at play.
The logic of the law is itself questionable. The proposed bill targets all “blight” on residences, including “equipment, furnishings, furniture, appliances, construction materials or any other items which are not designed to be used outdoors.” If inspectors can issue a citation for these items without an identifying tag, why can’t they do the same for abandoned vehicles?
The aesthetics of personal dwellings and neighborhoods are best left to the responsibility of the private community. Authorities seem to have no compunction in outlawing innocent behavior, such as the way people park, in the pursuit of the Nanny State and revenue collection.