Monday, February 04, 2008

LTE: Highway Blogging

City efforts in stifling highway bloggers ‘grasping at straws’

Tim Peck, Asheville
February 4, 2008 12:15 am

I have participated in several “highway blogging” parties and I’ve had only pleasant encounters with law enforcement.

If any law enforcement officer asked me to cease my peaceable and safe “highway blogging,” I would have to ask him to cite the law that is being violated. The bottom line is that there is no law that prohibits highway blogging. Who has pressed any charges?

First highway blogging was supposed to be impeding pedestrians on the sidewalk (which it doesn’t). Then it was a highway traffic hazard for the drivers below (which it is not, given the general atmosphere of common distractions that drivers face every day).

Then it was a violation of state advertising regulations. Now Assistant City Attorney Curt Euler wants a verbal opinion from the attorney general in order to enforce the advertising regulation — which, by the way, has no connection to traffic safety.

I call it grasping at straws. What we really need is law enforcement officers who know the law about political speech in public places and who can consistently enforce that law. Where there is no violation of the law (and in this case there is none), then police officers should wish us well.