Wednesday, July 25, 2007

But will it really help?

Both houses of the New Jersey Legislature have passed a bill aimed at curbing the number of "illegally registered" vehicles in the state. The Bills (S2087/A3372) aim to close a loophole that has allowed individuals residing in New Jersey "touring privileges" and not forced them to legally register their vehicles here once residency is established. (links to an online copy can be found at

It has been a popular belief in Trenton (and throughout NJ, no doubt) that enforcing the required registration laws would somehow free-up spaces in the parking starved capital.

To be sure, it is always good to revisit our laws and tweak them for better efficacy. But before everyone gets there hopes up too high, they must bear in mind a couple of things.

First, should Governor Corzine sign this into law, it won't just be enforced against those residents who may not have enough documentation to properly register their cars in New Jersey. This will also apply to people with second homes in states with lower insurance rates who've registered their autos there. If NJ is your primary residence (test: are you registered to vote here?) then your automobiles need to be registered here.

There goes your insurance discount!

Second, if this bill becomes law, is it enforceable and will it be enforced? Can you truly see a squad of Trenton Police detailed to patrol a neighborhood solely to issue summonses for improperly registered automobiles?

Do you think we have that kind of manpower to spare?

Finally, what if the law goes into effect and all the illegal cars are then properly registered in NJ. They'll still have to park somewhere...maybe in front of your house!

I'm not saying this bill isn't a good idea, or shouldn't be enforced if it makes it into law. But we must be aware that it may not be the panacea so many have hoped for.

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