by Aaron Gardner
The [Michigan State Libertarian Party] Legislative Committee would like to inform you of a bill that has been introduced in the Michigan House that we believe represents a clear threat to individual liberty.
The proposed bill would add a section to the Michigan vehicle code, that would allow various levels of government to establish “automated speed enforcement systems”. These systems would take photographs of alleged speeding cars that would be used to issue citations against vehicle owners.
Aside from the fact that this bill makes it easier for governments at all levels to further extort individuals, the biggest problem with it (there are many), is that it establishes a de facto guilty-until-proven-innocent scenario, in which a registered owner of a vehicle is presumed by law to be the driver without proof. Owners would be forced to provide sworn testimony in defense of themselves.
This is likely a violation of the 5th Amendment which guarantees that no one is compelled to testify against oneself. This law would allow courts to penalize individuals who exercise their right to remain silent, under the guise that a civil infraction is not considered a crime. We recognize that this is functionally a difference in semantics only as a failure to comply with a court’s ruling on a civil infraction leads to criminal charges.
This is complete bullshit and sets a dangerous precedent.
This is a call to action for our party members to contact everyone on this Committee to get the following bill REJECTED. Please call and email these committee members and tell them that not only should they vote down this bill, but they should also ceremoniously burn a printed copy on the steps of the capital, as a show of support for the rights of the constituents they were elected to represent. The bill to amend 1949 PA 300, entitled “Michigan vehicle code,” is HB 5284. Committee on Judiciary Members Graham Filler (93rd District), Mike Mueller (51st), Steven Johnson (72nd District), Bronna Kahle (57th), Daire Rendon (103rd), Ryan Berman (39th), Douglas Wozniak (R), 36th District, TC Clements (56th), David LaGrand (75th) Tenisha Yancey (1st), Kyra Bolden (35th) Kara Hope (67th), Kelly Breen (38th).
Call or email these legislators today to ask them to vote Nay on HB 5284.