Friday, March 27, 2015

LAWS | Time to Wipe Some from the Books?

Is this law still on the books?
New York City Councilman Corey Johnson was recently stopped and fined for doing something I have done many times–moving between cars on the NYC subway. He was given a $75 fine. His office said he has "utmost respect" for the NYPD and that he paid the fine.

But I understand his distress at being fined. There are many good reasons for going between cars:
  • Less crowded in the next car (the first or last car is often the most crowded)
  • The A/C doesn't work–and the hope is that it works in the next car.
  • Someone is, or several people are, making a lot of noise in the car. Time to leave.
  • There is a terrible smell in the car.
Also, the incident raises questions about "broken window" policing of minor offenses that is selective or enforces laws that shouldn't be illegal. Which brings up a lot of other laws that don't make sense. Maybe Councilman Johnson could look into other dumb laws that are on the books.

Is it still true, for example, that "flirting" is illegal in NYC and is subject to a $25 fine?  The law apparently applies only to men. A second conviction requires that the male wear a "pair of horse-blinders" whenever he leaves his home. If the law has been repealed, you wouldn't know it from the number of times it has been cited as an example of the craziness of NYC.

Maybe the NY City Council should have an Occam's Razor Committee to:
  • Get rid of laws still on the books that don't make sense any more, if they ever did.
  • Publicize the ending of laws that give NYC a reputation for being weirder than it actually is.