Testimony of FED UP in RI draws line-in-the-snow in opposition to House Bill 7401

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

laws are written5

Fed Up in RI’s Formal Opposition
to House Bill No.7401

Dear Honorable Chairman and House Judiciary Committee Members,
Please take ‘Notice’ that Fed Up in RI stands in firm Opposition to House Bill No.7401, and request that for good cause, you withhold your approval of House Bill No.7401 at this time.


“This act would penalize a driver for operating a motor vehicle with any significant amount of snow or ice upon the vehicle with a fine of one hundred twenty five dollars ($125).” http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText16/HouseText16/H7401.pdf

Although Fed Up in RI shares in promoting road safety, lacking a process employed in determining under what circumstances and criteria a “significant amount of snow” violation would be determined, the ordinary citizen does not know what the law requires without the law stating explicitly what it mandates, and what is enforceable.

The vague term of “significant amount of snow” is so imprecise, the ordinary citizen does not know what the law requires.

Also, because of this vagueness, the law is so extensive that it would lead to arbitrary prosecutions as it does not specifically detail the procedure followed by officers.

For instance, in the case of a heavy snow storm, while traveling on the roads – would one be required to pull over to clear their car off of the accumulation of a “significant amount of snow”- least they be pulled over and issued a hefty fine of $125 dollars? If so, common sense dictates that placing drivers at such risk and under such peril is contrary to the public’s health and safety. So, if not while traveling, then when? Parked or stopped at an intersection? Or, would the law apply only before initially going onto the roadways?

Further, how will the (amount of snow or ice) triggering a violation be determined… solely at the discretion of the officer issuing the ticket? Will these violations also be issued like no-parking tickets left on the windshields of cars outside of homes parked on the roads?

As a guard, • Definitions of this vague term MUST be provided, and the law MUST particularly detail what officers are to do, providing both for what they must do and what they must not do in a manner that does not encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.

Although on it’s face, this bill looks innocuous, We at Fed Up in RI take this kind of legislation very serious, because this legislation as written, is contrary to ‘Public Policy’ in placing the populous at an economic disadvantage by dangerously exposing them to possible arbitrary prosecutions for the purpose of “Revenue Enhancement”.

If Representative Joseph Trillo and the co-sponsors of this Bill want to protect the public from the dangers of snow and ice, we ask that they do their homework by including protections and instructions that are fair and equitable for all, in achieving that goal. Anything less is not acceptable and in violation of their Representative oaths and duties

Therefore, Individually, and on behalf of Fed Up In RI, and those in membership, please consider this correspondence our official written testimony for the Record in Opposition to House Bill No.7401, as we do not consent to it’s passage.

We further reserve our right to submit additional testimony and evidence for the record, during and up to the House Judiciary Committee’s final determination on this matter.

We respectfully request that you include “Fed Up in RI’s Formal Statement of Opposition to House Bill No. 7401 – RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES–ADJUDICATION OF TRAFFIC OFFENSES SCHEDULE OF VIOLATIONS; be read and placed in the Permanent Record and put into the House Journal for the official file.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Respectfully submitted,

Gloria Garvin, founder
Fed Up In RI
February 9th, 2016


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