I saw a great video clip on a news broadcast a couple of days ago. Unfortunately the video appears unavailable, but a synopsis from the TV station is available here.
The station’s camera man drove downtown (Phoenix, AZ) on assignment. Parked his vehicle. Did his job. When he returned to his van, he found a parking ticket waiting.
His violation? Parking on a non-paved surface. Yes, I knew this was a “crime.” I was aware of it because friends of mine had gotten clipped by a paid surrogate for officer friendly a couple of years ago.
Now the camera man correctly noted that there is a tremendous number of non-paved parking lots in the downtown area. What he failed to note was that the city exacted no revenue from those unpaved areas [well, except for the fines]. His complaint? Absolutely nowhere does the city post any signs stating no parking, fines, violations etc.
The city sent a well breasted flack of a detective out to say 1. We should be realistic, that there were far too many regulations for the city to post every one. 2. The regulations are available for anyone to read online. 3. Ignorance of the law was no excuse, and it was the citizen's (or driver's) responsibility to know every ordinance on the books (from each city apparently) throughout the nation, if you happen to be passing through.
I thought it was interesting that the city, who proposes and passes a myriad of ordinances can’t be troubled to post every one. [potential ballot proposition?] And that anyone who passes into the city’s grasp had better be aware of ALL the city’s ordinances, because the citizen WILL be held accountable for strictly following every one of them.
I also note that this was a violation of city code: 36-145. Presumably that means there were 144 prior ordinances in that title, and 35 preceding titles to read up on. I am guessing that was neither the last title, nor the last ordinance in Title 36. That is a lot of reading. Of course that is only one city out of at least 46 cities and towns, each with their own codes in the county, which has its own codes, and the state and federal governments with their own codes. All of which a good citizen must be completely aware of since ignorance is not an excuse.
So it occurred to me. Right after that thin blue line breaks into a solidly crimson appearance. And many a government oaficial and their bribing businessman enablers ends up against the wall. Any reply to feigning ignorance at just how bad their regulations had made it for the good citizen who has had enough might be, “Sorry, ignorance of the Constitution is no excuse....fire!”