Does Michigan Need Another School Bus Law, ‘Overcriminalization’
There is a saying that because we have so many laws you may be breaking a law and not even know it. It is called the “Overcriminalization” of our society.
How many criminal acts are on the books in Michigan? According to Michael Van Beek, the director of research at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, more than 3,100 and counting. Dozens of new laws are created every year and hardly any are ever taken off the books.
Michael points out what he believes is an example of “overcriminalization” in an opinion piece he wrote and was published in the Detroit News. A Michigan House Committee voted out in an unanimous vote House Bills 5038, 5039 and 5040. These bills are suppose to improve school bus safety according to politicians. If passed these bills “would make it a misdemeanor to enter a school bus without the permission of the bus driver and a felony to do the same with the intent to physically hurt someone”.
I had no idea that in the more than 3,100 plus criminal acts defined in Michigan statutes there is not a law that would make it illegal for someone to physically hurt someone.
As Van Beek wrote:
The bills appear to be in response to an incident that occurred earlier this year in Detroit. In January, two men jumped aboard a school bus, supposedly because the bus sideswiped their car, and beat the bus driver unconscious
I am sure there is some law that they could charge the alleged perpetrators with, I believe that they call them assault. By the way do you believe that the men who assaulted this bus driver would know that these new laws exist and more important would care?
The problem with the “overcriminalization” of our society comes as Van Beek explains:
But these bills could have another result — a large negative impact on well-intentioned people who may accidentally board a school bus without permission. Consider parents of school children: If they get on a school bus to help their child, remind them not to forget something or greet another child, they may be subject to misdemeanor charges if the driver claims that he did not give the parents permission to board. Most bus drivers, of course, are not going to abuse this new power, but some might, especially if they have an ax to grind against a certain parent.
There should be some kind of law that states they must review past laws and determine what is duplicated and no longer needed and get them off the books.