The Virginia legislative season is back.
Time for amusement. The do-nothing, feel-good legislation rolls on.
I’ll be adding more of these as I happen across them. I have only just so much duct tape I can wrap around my head at one time to keep my brain from exploding.
HB1366 “makes it unlawful for a person to smoke in a motor vehicle in the presence of a child younger than 13 years of age; punishable by a civil penalty of $100.” (Delegate J. Morrisey, D-74)
Okay, who thinks it’s a smart idea to light up in an enclosed space around a child? Anyone? Anyone?
Better yet, who thinks a police officer will take the time to cite someone for such a feel-good law? Oh, by the way, it’s a secondary offense, so you have to do something else wrong, for which the officer will cite you, and then s/he can pile on, if s/he’s in a bad mood. (Of course, by now the cigarette would be gone, wouldn’t it? More on that later …) Since it’s been my experience officers in Fairfax County run red lights, change lanes in an intersection, cut off other drivers, don’t bother with directional signals, and read their computer screens while driving, I’m not sure they’d recognize a traffic offense.
And … the fine doesn’t go to some health fund, as one would expect since smoking is a health danger, but to a literary fund. Maybe so offenders could read the new law. And that literary fund sure could use an extra $200/year.
HB 1367 ” includes cigarettes specifically in the category of things deemed litter for purposes of criminal punishment for improper disposal of trash. The bill also provides that in lieu of the imposition of the Class 1 misdemeanor criminal penalty, the court may order the defendant to perform community service in litter abatement activities. If the offense involves a cigarette or cigarettes, the court shall order the payment of a $100 civil penalty payable to the Litter Control and Recycling Fund established in § 10.1-1422.01 in addition to the imposition of such community service.” (Delegate J. Morrisey, D-74)
At least this one goes to the the Litter Control and Recycling Fund.
HB1375 “requires a retail establishment that has a toilet facility for its employees to allow a customer who suffers from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or other medical condition that requires immediate access to a toilet facility, to use that facility during normal business hours if certain conditions are met. The measure does not apply to certain filling stations or service stations or to banks or savings institutions. The operator of a retail establishment that violates this requirement is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100. A violation does not subject the retail establishment to further liability to the customer.” (K. Rob Krupika, D-45)
Full disclosure – I suffer from Crohn’s disease.
This bill says a business owner must allow me to use a restroom. Unless he runs a gas station or bank, though why those are excluded escapes me.
If he doesn’t, there’s no penalty.
But we’d have a law ……..
SB 736 “requires drivers and passengers to wait for a reasonable opportunity to open vehicle doors on the side adjacent to moving traffic. The bill also requires that in this case vehicle doors only be left open as long as necessary. A violation constitutes a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $100.” (J. Chapman Peterson, D-34)
Because I always leave my car doors open much longer than necessary, and I’m sure hundreds (or even thousands) of others do as well.
And wasn’t it sweet of him not to include “any law-enforcement officer, school guard, firefighter, or member of a rescue squad engaged in the performance of his duties.”