State House News Service

3 Tickets, 1 Complaint Issued During Driving Ban

BOSTON — To enforce Gov. Deval Patrick’s 24-hour driving ban during last week’s blizzard, State Police issued many warnings, gave three citations and one criminal complaint, according to State Police spokesman Dave Procopio.

For the most part there was little police action needed, as the public heeded Patrick’s call to stay off the roads starting at 4 p.m. Friday.

“By and large the citizens took the governor’s request to heart and there were very few vehicles on the roads,” Procopio said. No one was arrested for violating the order, he said.

Though the penalty for violating an executive order can be up to a year of imprisonment, Patrick told reporters on Friday that the aim was to keep the roads clear for plows, not to lock people up.

“The point is not to figure out how to come down hard on people, it’s to emphasize how critical it is that non-essential travel on the roads cease during this storm and in the immediate aftermath. We are trying to be and will be flexible,” Patrick said on Friday.

Procopio said state troopers were advised to use discretion in enforcing the ban, and the vast majority of traffic stops of people not covered under the orders exemptions were resulted in a warning.

“We went into it with the understanding and the agreement by the governor that we were going to enforce it with discretion,” Procopio said.

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  • Thinkfreeer

    It’s pretty clear. The civil defense act provides for gubernatorial powers to mobilize resources to deal with a dire emergency, such as nuclear war, or foreign attack. At the time of the declaration there was no emergency, there was no disaster. There was no clear and accurate forecast of disaster conditions. There was no prediction that at 4:00 PM it would be impossible to drive. It was simply a snowstorm. As far as I’m concerned there was never a disaster involved in this storm. The civil defense act does NOT require the public to protect themselves or get out of the way while mundane public workers clear the roads. The governor’s action was illegal and he should be impeached and removed from office for denying our natural right to travel. Some will say that driving is a privilege and not a right. While there is some truth to that, that applies to an individual, not the entire driving public at once. “Patrick told reporters on Friday that the aim was to keep the roads clear for plows, not to lock people up.” That is NOT the purpose of the civil defense act. That is the act of a tyrannical ruler. Articles of impeachment will be filed.

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