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The Right to Run Red Lights

Our rights are being violated every day. A blatant example of misuse of government authority is traffic lights. They limit our freedom, punish common sense, and enslave us to machines.

Everyone hates red lights. At their best, they slow us down, force unneeded idling, and foster excessive frustration on the roads. They are seen as a necessary evil for the benefits they provide like perceived safety and managing flow of traffic, but they are not always the most efficient means of traveling on the roads while maintaining the needed level of safety. At three in the morning, for example, roads are barren, but it is legally constituted and socially accepted that cars sit impatiently staring at a red circle with no imminent threat of physical harm and no danger in sight.

Imagine an outsider as a passenger in a car at three in the morning. They are pleasantly making their way from point A to point B when suddenly and for no apparent reason the car stops at an imaginary obstacle of a white line on the road. How confused would that person be when they clearly see no cars coming and being stuck in the same spot for nearly a minute? It would seem ridiculously idiotic to that person because it is ridiculously idiotic.

Why do we accept this behavior? Our society is one of strict adherence to laws and strict enforcement to the laws. The true motivation for obeying the law isn’t fear of physical harm, but rather legal harm. Citizens should not have to fear the enforcement of obviously unneeded laws.

The purpose of stop lights is to provide a way for roads to deal with large amounts of traffic. When there is not a large amount of traffic, the laws regarding traffic lights should not be followed exactly.

At what point does common sense override written law? Laws become illegitimate when punishment is more harmful than disobedience. There is no danger in running a red light on an empty road, and there is no good in enforcing this law, so it should be ignored. It is morally wrong that our liberties are restricted in such a case.

There is no need to be at the mercy of a machine changing the color of a light to travel. As humans, we have the capability to utilize reason and common sense and that ability should not and must not be limited by government. Next time you find yourself sitting alone at an intersection, assert your rights and practice civil disobedience. Use common sense: run the red light.



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