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Re: CA DMV is evil

To: Denise Thorpe <>
Subject: Re: CA DMV is evil
From: "W. R. Gibbons" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 16:10:36 -0500 (EST)
On Tue, 30 Jan 1996, Denise Thorpe wrote:

> Think about this.  You could call up someone's insurance company and cancel 
> their policy without their knowledge.  Call up your insurance company and see 
> how much information they require from you before believing that it's you 
> calling them and think about whether you could get that much information 
> someone you don't like.  The way the system runs, you could file a DMV report 
> for an accident that never happened and claim that the person whose insurance 
> you cancelled was involved in the accident.  The DMV will never require proof 
> that the accident happened.  If your victim can't prove that they had 
> insurance when the alleged accident happened, they'll lose their license for 
> a year.  Is this right?  Is a system in which this could happen fair?

You have dreamt up quite a scenario, there.  I suppose you could do that,
and it might be very annoying to have to straighten it out (I bet you
could, however, before you lost your license).  But what is your point? 
The fact that one can file false reports to cause trouble for someone has
nothing to do with whether or not one should file a valid report about
somebody who really *was* driving without insurance, on purpose, and who
really *did* have an accident. 

Look at it this way:  you can shout, "Stop Thief!" and point to a totally
innocent person.  You'll likely cause that innocent person trouble.  The 
system is unfair, to the extent that the person you point at will be 
troubled for something he did not do.  It is difficult to imagine how 
one could prevent this kind of abuse.  Despite all that, it seems 
appropriate to yell if someone *does* steal your wallet.

> Somebody-or-other wise and famous once said, "Better that a hundred guilty 
> men go free than one innocent man be convicted."  If you don't believe that 
> and aren't willing to stand up for it, then you'll have no right to complain 
> when _you're_ that one innocent man.

Well, Blackstone said, "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than
that one innocent suffer."  I'm not sure he'd have agreed to a hundred. 
Maybe at a hundred, he'd have been willing to let an innocent suffer. 


   Ray Gibbons  Dept. of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
                Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
        (802) 656-8910

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