Driving as a right (in the US)

prizrak

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This came about from a Facebook discussion with a friend about gun control actually (as far whether a right can be regulated in any way).

The idea is that since traveling is a right and driving is a common mode of travel driving itself becomes a right, the below links contain a collection of SCOTUS and local court rulings that support that idea.
http://educate-yourself.org/cn/drivingisrightnotprivledge07apr05.shtml
http://www.lawfulpath.com/ref/DLbrief.shtml

This being the case it raises an interesting idea, driver testing, safety/emissions checks, equipment requirements for road legality of a vehicle and mandatory insurance are essentially all unconstitutional. It also makes speed limits essentially un-enforceable aside from fines as the main enforcement system is based on demerit points that can deprive one of a license.

The anarchist in me really likes that idea but the not completely insane human being thinks it's a little silly.
 

Vette Boss

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Nope. People have to be tested in at least some form or other, to prove their ability to understand the road and the basic functions of a motor vehicle. You can't have some idiot with a V8 lawn tractor, trying to drive on the highway.
 

narf

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In a functioning society, one person's rights/privileges are limited by other peoples' rights/privileges. Let's keep this simple: Your right to blast music at 150dB at 2am (free speech!) can only be upheld until it affects others. If you have neighbours within a mile or so, their rights to be without bodily harm would be infringed upon. If sentient nature exists around your house, their rights would be infringed upon as well. These opposing rights would then get weighed against each other, and in case of neighbours trying to sleep you'll get to turn that racket down :wheelchair:

Translating that to driving, your right to drive an uninspected uninsured coal-rolling shitbox drunk at 200mph in town without a license conflicts with other peoples' rights to not get hit by said shitbox, to not breathe said rolled coal, and so on. On private property you might be fine depending on local environmental rights, but on public roads your rights will lose in favour of other peoples' rights.
 

LeVeL

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Translating that to driving, your right to drive an uninspected uninsured coal-rolling shitbox drunk at 200mph in town without a license conflicts with other peoples' rights to not get hit by said shitbox, to not breathe said rolled coal, and so on. On private property you might be fine depending on local environmental rights, but on public roads your rights will lose in favour of other peoples' rights.
Don't other people also have the right not to get hit by my clean luxury sedan when I'm doing 30mph? If a mailman wanders onto my private property, does he still have the right not to get hit by my car?
 

narf

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Don't other people also have the right not to get hit by my clean luxury sedan when I'm doing 30mph?
Obviously. Getting your car inspected, getting you trained, sticking to reasonable road rules - all these things help the rights of others and limit yours. As the others gain and you lose, at some point you'll reach a balance of rights/infringements - where that ideal compromise is is impossible to say, but it's certainly not at either extreme end. No limits on your driving isn't going to work, and no driving at all isn't either. Neither black nor white, but some shade of grey.

If a mailman wanders onto my private property, does he still have the right not to get hit by my car?
Delivering your mail doesn't forfeit his basic human rights :no: you're being silly.

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Traveling is not a right.
Article 13 of the UDHR would like to disagree.
 

LeVeL

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:dunno: You're the one that chose to specify "public" roads, "shitboxes", and "200mph".

Do you consider fees to be infringements? For example, to buy a car and get on the road I have to pay for my road test, pay for my license (every five years), pay the sales tax on my car (and possibly luxury and gas guzzler taxes), pay for registration and plates (every two years), pay for inspection (every year), pay excise taxes (every year), pay gas taxes, pay tolls, and pay for mandatory insurance coverage. There might be more that I can't remember at the moment. Any chance you might find that a bit too much?
 

narf

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:dunno: You're the one that chose to specify "public" roads, "shitboxes", and "200mph".
It's called an example.

Do you consider fees to be infringements? For example, to buy a car and get on the road I have to pay for my road test, pay for my license (every five years), pay the sales tax on my car (and possibly luxury and gas guzzler taxes), pay for registration and plates (every two years), pay for inspection (every year), pay excise taxes (every year), pay gas taxes, pay tolls, and pay for mandatory insurance coverage. There might be more that I can't remember at the moment. Any chance you might find that a bit too much?
Should the road test, license, plates, inspection, insurance, etc. be free? Whose rights are going to be infringed upon if they have to pay for your car's <insert list here>?


This is getting silly really quick.
 
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prizrak

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In a functioning society, one person's rights/privileges are limited by other peoples' rights/privileges. Let's keep this simple: Your right to blast music at 150dB at 2am (free speech!) can only be upheld until it affects others. If you have neighbours within a mile or so, their rights to be without bodily harm would be infringed upon. If sentient nature exists around your house, their rights would be infringed upon as well. These opposing rights would then get weighed against each other, and in case of neighbours trying to sleep you'll get to turn that racket down :wheelchair:

Translating that to driving, your right to drive an uninspected uninsured coal-rolling shitbox drunk at 200mph in town without a license conflicts with other peoples' rights to not get hit by said shitbox, to not breathe said rolled coal, and so on. On private property you might be fine depending on local environmental rights, but on public roads your rights will lose in favour of other peoples' rights.
Agree in principle however me driving anything at 200+mph doesn't actually infringe on anyone's rights until I *do* hit them with my coal rolling box. Also the thing is that it is absolutely within legal limits for the government to tell the manufacturer to limit emissions.
 

narf

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Agree in principle however me driving anything at 200+mph doesn't actually infringe on anyone's rights until I *do* hit them with my coal rolling box. Also the thing is that it is absolutely within legal limits for the government to tell the manufacturer to limit emissions.
Doing 200mph through my school zone infringes upon my rights even if you manage to not hit me. The sole risk of getting hit, whether it happens or not, outweighs your right to do 200mph in my school zone. I thought I had made the example absurd enough to not have people disagree, I guess I underestimated your silliness reserves :dunno:

Corporations are people my friend, how is it okay to infringe upon their right to produce heavily polluting cars but not okay to infringe upon your right to drive one?
 

prizrak

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:dunno: You're the one that chose to specify "public" roads, "shitboxes", and "200mph".

Do you consider fees to be infringements? For example, to buy a car and get on the road I have to pay for my road test, pay for my license (every five years), pay the sales tax on my car (and possibly luxury and gas guzzler taxes), pay for registration and plates (every two years), pay for inspection (every year), pay excise taxes (every year), pay gas taxes, pay tolls, and pay for mandatory insurance coverage. There might be more that I can't remember at the moment. Any chance you might find that a bit too much?
I would say sales tax is OK, seeing as how it would be just like buying any other good/service (in NY you pay sales tax for restaurant food but not groceries). The rest would technically be infringements, in fact Illinois Supreme Court said as much.

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Doing 200mph through my school zone infringes upon my rights even if you manage to not hit me. The sole risk of getting hit, whether it happens or not, outweighs your right to do 200mph in my school zone. I thought I had made the example absurd enough to not have people disagree, I guess I underestimated your silliness reserves :dunno:
I'm not saying that it would be ok to do 200 through a school zone but what I'm saying that in principle a risk of something happening cannot be considered a right infringement. Because a risk of you being hit exists in at any speed, plenty of kids get killed by people backing out of their driveways at 5mph.

Also I said speed limits would essentially be unenforceable in their current state, however if you make them criminal rather than administrative laws they could be enforced as any other type of law.

Corporations are people my friend, how is it okay to infringe upon their right to produce heavily polluting cars but not okay to infringe upon your right to drive one?
Not under the constitution, corporations do have certain rights however those rights are not equal to natural persons.
 

LeVeL

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Should the road test, license, plates, inspection, insurance, etc. be free? Whose rights are going to be infringed upon if they have to pay for your car's <insert list here>?
Once I get my plates, why do I have to pay for them again every year? I already have them!
When it comes to insurance, why should I be forced to become a customer to a for-profit corporation, whose legal requirement is to maximize its profits?
Why do I have to pass inspection with a brand new car that I just drove off the showroom floor? Some states don't require inspections at all and people there seem to survive.


Doing 200mph through my school zone infringes upon my rights even if you manage to not hit me. The sole risk of getting hit, whether it happens or not, outweighs your right to do 200mph in my school zone.
There is a risk of getting hit by a car doing 20mph too :dunno:
 

prizrak

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Should the road test, license, plates, inspection, insurance, etc. be free? Whose rights are going to be infringed upon if they have to pay for your car's <insert list here>?
If it's a right than none of them can ever really be required, think of it this way your right to free speech doesn't require you to write an essay every year to make sure you are able to coherently express yourself.
This is getting silly really quick.
Oh it very much is, but it's an interesting thought exercise and also interesting to see different ways of people thinking about rights.
 

argatoga

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Unless a Constitutional Amendment is passed, driving is not a right.
 

prizrak

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Unless a Constitutional Amendment is passed, driving is not a right.
The forgotten legal maxim is that free people have a right to travel on the roads which are provided by their servants for that purpose, using ordinary transportation of the day. Licensing cannot be required of free people, because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of a right. The driver's license can be required of people who use the highways for trade, commerce, or hire; that is, if they earn their living on the road, and if they use extraordinary machines on the roads. If you are not using the highways for profit, you cannot be required to have a driver's license. -
Source - http://www.lawfulpath.com/ref/DLbrief.shtml
4. The "Supreme Court" of the "State of Illinois" ruled:

4.1 Even the legislature has no power to deny to a Citizen the "RIGHT" to travel upon the roadways and transport his property in the ordinary course of his business or pleasure, through this "RIGHT" might be regulated in accordance with the public interest and convenience. See: Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago, 169 N.E. 22

"Regulated" here means traffic safety enforcement, stop lights, sign, etc., NOT a privilege that requires permission, i.e.; licensing, mandatory insurance, vehicle registration, etc..
6.1 The use of the roadways for the purpose of travel and transportation is NOT a mere PRIVILEGE, but a "COMMON AND FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT" of which the public and individuals cannot rightfully be deprived. (Emphasis added) See: Chicago Motor Coach v. Chicago, supra; See: Ligare v. Chicago, 28 N.E. 934; See: Boone v. Clark, 214 S. W. 607;

See: American Jurisprudence 1st Ed., Highways 163 6.2 A Citizen 's "RIGHT" to travel upon public highways includes the right to use usual conveyances of time, including horse-drawn carriage, or automobile, for ordinary purposes of life and business. See: Thompson v. Smith (Chief of Police), 154 S. E. 579, 580

6.3 The "RIGHT" of the Citizen to travel upon the public roadways and to transport his property thereon, either by carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city may prohibit or permit at will, but a "COMMON RIGHT" which he has under the "RIGHT" to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. See: Thompson v. Smith, supra.

7. It could not be stated more conclusively that Citizens of the States have a "RIGHT" to travel, without approval or restriction, (license), and that this "RIGHT" is protected under the U.S. Constitution. After all, who do the roadways belong to anyway? The People-At-Large. The following are additional court decisions that expound the same facts:

7.1 . The streets and roadways belong to the public, for the use of the public in the ordinary and customary manner. See: Hadfield v. Lundin, 98 Wn. 657; 168 P. 516;

7.2 All those who travel upon, and transport their property upon, the public highways, using the ordinary conveyance of today, and doing so in the usual and ordinary course of life and business. See: Hadfield, supra; See: State v. City of Spokane, 109 Wn. 360; 186 P. 864.

7.3 The "RIGHT" of the Citizen to travel upon the highways and to transport his property thereon, in the ordinary course of life and business, obviously differs radically from that of one who makes the highways his principal place of business and uses it for private gain ... See: State v. City of Spokane, supra.

7.4 . While a Citizen has the "RIGHT" to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, that "RIGHT" does not extend to the use of the highways, either in whole or in part, as a place of business for private gain. For the latter purposes no person has a vested right to use the highways of the state, but is a MERE PRIVILEGE or license which the legislature may grant or withhold at its discretion .... See: Hadfield, supra; State v. Johnson, 243 P. 1073; See: Cummins v. Jones, 155 P. 171; See: Packard v. Banton, 44 S.Ct. 257, 264 U.S. 140 and other cases too numerous to mention.
Source - http://educate-yourself.org/cn/drivingisrightnotprivledge07apr05.shtml

Mind you these are all court cases, not ramblings of random people, driving is a right as it is the "common transportation of the day", if we had giant worms a la Dune as our main form of transportation riding them would be a legal right.
 
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