8/10/2006Massachusetts Attorney General Introduces Anti-Car Agenda
Massachusetts Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate proposes legislation to make things more difficult and expensive for motorists.
Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, the Democratic candidate for governor, yesterday offered a set of legislative proposals that would increase punishments for motorists and restrict consumer choice in automobile insurance matters. Reilly waited until the legislature adjourned to send a letter to state representatives urging them to come back into session to focus on these issues.
At the top of his agenda, Reilly wants red light cameras to ticket motorists for misjudging the yellow light at an intersection by a fraction of a second. The move would allow municipalities to reap significant financial rewards.
Other changes to automobile insurance law would prohibit car enthusiasts from taking a damaged vehicle to the repair shop of their choice. Instead, those involved in an accident would have to accept only the discount shops "preferred" by the insurance company responsible for the claim. Similarly, injured motorists would not be able to seek treatment from the best doctor in the field. Instead, their choice would be restricted to those health facilities approved by the insurance company.
Reilly's other changes would increase the amount of ticketing by police officers. First, he would mandate a minimum number of roadblocks to be set up at random to search motorists not suspected of any wrongdoing. He would allow police to pull over and ticket any motorist if he or a passenger either choses or forgets to wear a seat belt. Police would net $150 for unbelted children, up from the current fine of $25. Another fine would be imposed for any child up to eight years old who is not in a booster seat. Teens would be forbidden from driving after 9pm.