Stoopid State Law

There are some pretty silly or downright stupid laws on the books. 

One college town has an ordinance against public drunkenness.  However, you can't be arrested for public drunkenness if you're wearing a morning suit.  My law school exploited that loophole by all of us renting tails for Homecoming while the third years provided trashcans full of fuzzy navels and two other drinks that for the life of me I can't remember what they were. 

My state has a stupid loophole on the books.  When I wanted to ride a motorcycle alongside Mr. Gaelic rather than sitting behind him, I took a class at the local community college.  It was a full day of classroom instruction followed by a written test.  Only if we passed the written test were we allowed out in the roped-off parking lot for the practical instruction.  For someone who had never driven a motorcycle it was fantastic, starting from the basics of how to turn it on.  The DMV driving test was the practical test given by the instructors.  We still had to go to the DMV for the written test.

The loophole in the law that I find stupid is that scooter riders don't have to take any special classes or pass any special tests before they can hop on a scooter.  Granted scooters don't have the horsepower of motorcycles.  But they still need to understand certain things about a motorized two-wheeled vehicle.

I think the law is stupid because, on a recent damp drizzly morning, we were following a scooter rider downhill on a major street.  It was early enough that the only traffic on the street was the scooter in front of us and our big SUV.  I saw the light changing to yellow and knew the scooter was going too fast to stop.  Sure enough, when he hit the brakes he braked with only the back brakes and started fishtailing.  He recovered but knew he couldn't stop and continued on through the intersection.  Thank goodness that the car which was stopped at the cross street didn't immediately start moving when the light turned green for them.  The scooter would have been toast.

Even a motorcyclist with a 250cc bike must pass the written and practical test.  Yet scooter riders are exempt, even though scooters are getting bigger and bigger, some maxi-scooter even up to 800cc's. 

Some things I just don't understand.


  1. I have seen that time and time again and it's a miracle that they stay alive. Very scary. With all the ridiculous laws of yesteryear, you'd think someone would plow through and throw out the rubbish. More fun to just add more, I guess; something like the national debt -- just add more and don't worry about yesterday, ugh.
    Now my eyes keep floating back to that trashcan full of fuzzy navels, lol. Haven't had one of those in AGES. Sooooo, you can't remember the other 2 kinds of drinks, eh? Lol, that was a good, good party ;) "Oye, oye..."

  2. As an economist would, the incentives for the lawmakers are wrong in this instance.

  3. Scary moment for that scooterist,I don't know if you have many cyclists in the States but here in UK we have lots, and with our narrow roads and larger lorries [by permission of the EU] it is downright dangerous to have to pass them or often have to wait till it's safe to do so, resulting in long tailbacks, which sometimes causes impatient drivers into taking risks overtaking. Why they are allowed on the road without insurance or even having had to take any kind of test is lunacy.

  4. I believe the scooter drivers are covered by one of the laws proposed by Charles Darwin...

  5. @Jenny, Hahaha. I don't remember the parade nor the football game. So it must have been a good party.

    @Laoch, At least they wear helmets.

    @Arlene, In the bigger cities we're seeing more bicyclists. In some cities they are adding dedicated bike lanes.

    @David, More evidence that the gene pool needs a bit more chlorine.

  6. Yes we have bike lanes in some, maybe most, of the main roads, but our roads are so narrow it simply deprives motorists of space, I think our roads are still in the horse and carriage age. :-))

  7. We don't have many scooters around here. As a matter of fact, I don't remember the last time I saw one! Hope you have a great weekend.g