Saturday, March 05, 2011

Banning photographers at accidents is a mistake

Accident on Interstate 84 EastIn the old days, the main danger of an accident was a rubber-necker (someone slowing way down to look at an accident). These days, the cell phone sniper is a much bigger danger, as people try to use their cell phones to grab an amazingly gory or dramatic picture of an accident scene. So, it is no surprise that some lawmakers want to ban photographs at car accidents. After all, isn't that the best way to force people to do the right thing, and spare families the trauma of seeing pictures of injured loved ones?

Nope. The fact is this law will be essentially unenforceable... except for cases where law already exist - where someone endangers someone else to get the shot by driving dangerously or getting in the way of emergency responders. And if anyone tries to enforce it, they are more likely to take energy away from the wounded in favor of punishing the stupid.

Let Free Speech win in this case. Forget these well-meaning, but foolish laws.

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