Driving a privilege, not a right

I have to admit to being somewhat baffled by much of the testimony by taxi drivers and others that supported a person’s “continued right” to operate a motor vehicle on the beaches bordering the city of Homer.

The operation of a vehicle on public byways and properties requires a license, and licensure, in Alaska and every other state, is a privilege, not a right. It is a privilege to the extreme extent that, in agreeing to be licensed, real rights (such as the right against self-incrimination and the right to an unreasonable search) are, by law, considered to have been waived by implied consent.

Those having jurisdiction over any public byway or area get to make the rules regarding a driver’s access and conduct. You may have the right to travel; you may have the right to gather; you may have the right to access; but you definitely do not have the right to drive.

Ken Castner