Tag Archives: public safety

Regulation of the Day 161: Crossing the Street

Three states are proposing to make it illegal to listen to your iPod while crossing the street. Legislators in California, New York, and Oregon are leading the charge, citing increasing pedestrian deaths. A similar proposal in Arkansas was retracted after constituents mobbed the state legislator who wrote the bill with hate mail.

Pedestrian deaths did go slightly up last year. But pedestrian deaths have been trending down for two decades, despite the rise of iPods and smartphones. Turns out that most people have enough common sense to pay more attention to traffic than their phone while crossing the street.

Legislating common sense is at best redundant. But in this case, it’s actually harmful. Police departments only have so many resources to go around. All the time and manpower they spend watching people cross the street is time and manpower not spent on more serious crimes. This is a solution without a problem.

Caroline May has more over at the Daily Caller (I am also quoted).

Regulation of the Day 95: Buying Wine in Ohio

It is illegal to buy more than 288 bottles of wine per year in Ohio.

If you drink that much wine by yourself, then you have more important problems to worry about than regulatory compliance. But if you host of lot of parties or are building up a wine collection, you run a real risk of hitting the limit.

“The level was set to establish what would seem to be a reasonable amount for personal use,” according to the Ohio Wine Producers Association’s executive director, Donniella Winchell.

Since the law is somewhat difficult to enforce, no violators have yet been found. But when there are, the Ohio Department of Public Safety Investigative Unit will come knocking. Because while buying 288 bottles of wine is perfectly fine, buying 289 poses a threat to public safety.

(Hat tip to CEI colleague Megan McLaughlin)