Restrictive.

New York State has such a bug up it’s butt. I mean really. I try hard to remain “Empire State Proud”, but sometimes it can be difficult.

There’s just so many things you *can’t* do in New York State under penalty of law.

Have you crossed into New York from another state recently? Get ready to read really quick if you do, because you’ll have to deal with the following restrictions posted on small road signs at the state line:

1. BUCKLE UP! – NEW YORK LAW – SEAT BELT USED REQUIRED.
Personally, I think a seat belt law is stupid. On the other hand, not wearing your seat belt is dumb too, but there shouldn’t be a law stating that I must wear my seat belt else I get stopped and ticketed. Common sense shouldn’t be legislated.

2. STATE LAW – USE OF HAND-HELD MOBILE PHONE BY DRIVER PROHIBITED.
Another dumb one. See a cop? Throw the cell phone on the seat next to you after a polite, “Please hold” and the charge can easily be avoided. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I think people yakking on the cell phone while driving are among the dumbest people around, but again, don’t legislate common sense.

3. STATE SPEED LIMIT 55
Don’t even get me started on this. Yes, on rural freeways (we call them expressways), the speed limit is 65. But nobody drives 65, they drive 75-80 instead because the speed limit is posted too low. Then there’s four-lane divided highways with a cross street every 10 miles or so that are only at 55 MPH because there’s a cross street on there. Dumb. Respect the drivers with a sensible speed limit and the drivers will respect a sensible speed limit.

4. WINDSHIELD WIPERS USE REQUIRED WHEN LIGHTS ARE ON.
More common sense legislation. At least we haven’t adopted the dumb Pennsylvania law where you must turn your lights on in a work zone. That one really bugs me because I don’t see a need for it.

A couple of other chestnuts that really get me irked:
– The little flippy thing on a gas pump nozzle that holds the nozzle in the “on” position has been removed at many gas stations. Apparently there’s some law that says it’s illegal to have them. I don’t know how people survive in other states, what with getting doused with gas from other people at the filling station pulling a running gas nozzle out of their tank and wildly throwing gas all over the place. Having just returned from vacation, I can’t tell you how excited I was because I was able to fill my tank, wash my windshield and do a couple of laps around the Jeep yelling “neener, neener, neener” all at the same time just because I could.

– Taxes, taxes, taxes. The fine citizens of Oneida County, New York pay 8.5% sales tax on just about everything (except unprepared food) for the stellar weather, high gas prices and the right to drive slow. Our local power company merged with a big conglomerate and now we pay lots more for electricity. Nothing peps up the blood in the wintertime like a $550 per month lights and heating bill.

So why do we still live here? Well, Earl and I are working on that. In the meantime, I’ll bitch about it.

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