Written by Gregory Monte.
If you sneeze or cough and don’t cover your nose while doing so, should you be cited for this by the police?
I know this question sounds silly, but contagious diseases can be quite deadly. According the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the flu and pneumonia are the 8th leading cause of death in the U.S.
“Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection that is one of the most severe illnesses of the winter season … Influenza is spread easily from person to person, usually when an infected person coughs or sneezes … Influenza can be complicated by pneumonia …”
And there is a huge monetary cost associated with contagious diseases. The CDC estimates that tens of billions are lost each year:
What do these comments have to do with driving and traffic laws?
Last week I wrote about two silly Virginia Motor Vehicles laws in a blog post entitled: Dumb and Dumber – These two Virginia driving laws are as silly as it gets. Well, there is another silly Virginia law which regulates opening a car door on a side facing traffic. Obviously you don’t want to just throw your car door open when a car is coming down the street – any moron realizes this. But to pass a law about it?
“No operator shall open the door of a parked motor vehicle on the side adjacent to moving vehicular traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so. A violation of this section shall constitute a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $50”
This car door law is as silly as a law for not covering your nose when you sneeze or cough. Both of these behaviors (as well as hundreds of others I can think of) are common sense courtesies. Have we really gotten to the point where the state needs to regulate and enforce this type of thing?
What is next? A $50 fine for not holding open a door for someone behind you when you go into a restaurant? How about for not flushing a public toilet or failing to wash your hands after you go to the bathroom?