Over Regulation in the City of Tyler

by admin on May 24, 2010

in Socio-Political Commentary

Is it just me or are there any other citizens in Tyler Texas who are beginning to feel… oh overly regulated? Now I grew up in this fair city, and I’m proud to call it my home town, but in the last few years both our state and city are being bombarded with petty new legislation that seems to afford its citizens yet another opportunity to glance over their shoulders in order to see whose watching.

It is well understood that Tylerites like to feel as though they are living in a larger city. The Tyler traffic reports they issue over the radio have always struck me as a silly manifestation of that desire. About two years ago the illustrious Tyler city council enacted its own ban on smoking in restaurants and bars. Yes bars in a city in Texas, are not allowed to permit smoking! Now I gave up that particular vice many years ago, but isn’t this a decision to be made between a man and his bartender, (or bar owner), not between a citizen and his city council? I still maintain the profound belief that this law gathered support on the basis of the fact that “Big fancy cities like New York all have smoking bans!”

In addition to the local regulations there are the new state laws like double fines for using a phone in a school zone, seatbelts in the back seats, etc. Now I understand the desire to encourage safety, but I have a mother! I don’t need the village to look out for my safety! The most annoying thing about these new laws is the condescending ad campaigns that accompany them. The commercials warn the citizenry that local police are now on the lookout for new evil doers! Just this morning I was treated to a reminder that area police are starting their annual “click it or ticket campaign.” Sounds like a fund raising drive to me. Now listen, I “back the blue” as much as any East Texan. I am profoundly grateful for those who pursue criminal threats to our society and help to maintain the peace however I am extremely tired of seeing police cars hiding near the corner of thirty one and the loop hoping to catch drivers five miles over the speed limit. When asked why they were policing the stop so closely, one officer replied “we just really need to get control of traffic on this street.” No you don’t! Its fine! There aren’t any more accidents there than anywhere else. How about getting control of the drug user and meth operator who allegedly lives in my neighborhood!

The most frustrating officers in Tyler are the ones who ride motorcycles. It seems every summer I get a ticket, usually for some petty offence, and it is always written by an officer on a motorcycle. I never ever receive a warning even though my actual driving record is pretty clean.  The officer on a bike basically serves one purpose, raise revenue for the city. When was the last time a trooper on a motorcycle, made an arrest, intervened in a domestic dispute or did something other the write a ticket for expired tags?

I don’t want to turn this article into another rant. I recognize that Tylerites do have a propensity to run a red now and again, and I realize that traffic on Broadway and Old Bullard road tends to be tricky to navigate, but from this citizen’s observation, increasing regulation has not helped. Install new medians, build new toll roads, and synchronize the stop lights. These are just new band aids for addressing the fact that our city is growing. But frustrating the citizens is not going to solve these growing pains.

So to any area police who may be reading let me assure you that we who live in this great community support you, but please, cut us a little slack. We’re all just trying to get to work and home without incident. And to the State and local officials, (particularly the city council), remember Pain’s maxim: “The government is best which governs least!”

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