"The Law Says to Ditch Your Hitch"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, September 6, 2013

Last week, I noted some laws are humorous, such a\s those that relate to our privacy. There are also many laws that are simply ridiculous. Recently, I discovered that new laws can be put on the books without notifying those that may be affected.

A few months ago, I renewed my driver’s license and my license plates. I was told of changes and paid extra charges yet I received no notice of a traffic law change that had been enacted.

Many readers of this column may be surprised to learn there is a new law for vehicles that have a tow hitch. The law was introduced by Rep. George T. Darany of Michigan’s 15th District in Dearborn. I provide this information to readers so you may be aware that Darany introduced Bill HB 5610 “to prohibit a trailer hitch or receiver to protrude from the back of a vehicle unless the vehicle (car or pickup) is towing a trailer.”

If you think this law is hard to believe, look up Michigan House Bill 5610 and read the comments from happy Michiganders, the majority of which are strongly against it. Why weren’t they asked their opinion? What ever happened to “elected to represent the people?”

As you read the comments you learn the bill is thought by many to be a ridiculous ban and proof that many of our elected officials have too much extra time on their hands. I wonder if Darany is the person that hit his leg on my hitch in the parking lot. If so, I wonder why he was looking in my vehicle instead of where he was going.

I can offer another personal example regarding hitches. One day, while sitting at a friend’s place of business, I looked out the window and noticed my parked vehicle was moving. When I went out to check, I found an elderly driver at the wheel of his car attempting to push my vehicle. He was in a tight parking spot and was having trouble pulling out. I had my hitch on, so I avoided major damage to my SUV. The man’s mini-van was not so fortunate.

Since Darany “represents” Dearborn, he should consider asking one of the many auto wizards about inventing a new electronic device for cars. The device would prohibit a cell phone from operating in a vehicle while it is underway. This device would save a lot more money than a ban on trailer hitches. It would also save lives, which seems more important.

Yesterday, I could have lost my life. I was crossing the street and had to literally jump out of the way of a pickup truck. The driver was smoking, talking on a cell phone and running the stop sign while making a turn. No, I didn’t yell at the person — only because the first words that came to mind could not be shouted out in public.

This idea is just waiting to be developed and hopefully already in the works considering the mass of electronics being built into our new vehicles. My 2008 Jeep has a built-in GPS which does not allow changes in programmed information while the car is moving. If a cell phone de-activation device were installed in vehicles, we wouldn’t have to worry about the driver behind us hitting our hitches while they are looking in their lap’s texting.




Return to Home Page of Tipsforboating.com


Copyright © Fred Davis. All rights reserved.