What Do You Think About Gov. Patrick’s Travel Ban?

Do you agree with the governor's decision or was it too drastic?

All non-emergency drivers were ordered off the roads on Friday when Gov. Deval Patrick issued an executive order banning travel during the blizzard.

(Editor's note: The ban is lifted statewide as of 4 p.m. Saturday.)

Patrick's executive order is being praised by some and bashed by others, reported The Boston Globe.

While former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who was in charge of the commonwealth during the Blizzard of ’78, praised the governor’s move, others called the order “tyrannical” and say the strict ban and hefty fines were too much, according to The Globe.

Those caught violating the ban would face up to a year in jail and a $500 fine.

What do you think? Do you agree with the governor’s decision or do you think the travel ban was too strict? Let us know in the comment section.

Fred February 10, 2013 at 04:49 PM
It was absolutely the right decision. Just look at the pictures of stranded cars in NY and CT to show what a good decision it was. And having been stranded once in a major storm because my company ignored "recommendations" that businesses close early I have to agree with the need to have an executive order, and the decision to start the ban at 4 rather than later.
Anna Bucciarelli February 10, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Good point, Dan D. given that the maps show most of the blizzard was in mid to eastern MA, perhaps it was unfair to those who were not stricken to be cabined up. That said, I too was in the '78 blizzard and things were so different ... no forewarning, sudden and devastating blizzard upon us in no time, no cell phones, etc., etc.. This one was very different ... everyone was warned far in advance and had plenty of time to prepare, there probably would not have been anyone on the roads anyway. As I said above, I am not at all sure it is in the Gov's. authority to pronounce such a ban and I strongly suspect not, but people seem to be happy with it for the most part and it appears to have kept folks in tow. Too bad we act like the children we are thought by the powers to be. Anyone in their right mind would not have ventured out, except in cases of emergency.
mplo February 10, 2013 at 05:16 PM
I know I'm late in responding to this article, but I, too agree(d) with the travel ban when it was in affect. It was the right thing to do. It seems that lessons were extracted from the Blizzard of 1978, when tons of people were stranded on the highways in their cars. I agree that jail is a bit harsh, but a fine is in order.
Izzy February 10, 2013 at 05:22 PM
He was wise and within his rights as a leader looking ahead to the foreseeable issues. Too many people tend to use common sense in storms. We needed our emergency resources to deal with the snow for the greater good and for true emergencies , not to deal with stupidity of individuals. Sometimes people need to be intimidated into doing something that others would figure out and act on without threats. I applaud the governor's foresight to take charge.
mplo February 10, 2013 at 05:24 PM
One must bear in mind, however, that not everybody works a cubicle job in an office building. Some people, such as those who work in hospitals, as paramedics, etc., had no choice but to go to work, shouldn't have to be penalized, however.
Frank DelVecchio February 10, 2013 at 05:26 PM
“government overreach” is the newly fashionable explanation for “thinking things through rationally underreach..."
mplo February 10, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Well said, Handsome Victor! Bravo!
Tree Hugger February 10, 2013 at 05:39 PM
I do not like him, his policies, or almost anything he stands for....but with that being said, I am open minded enough to state: He got it right this time. For those saying it was "unconstitutional", actually, it was. If we're in a State of Emergency for natural disaster, he has powers in those areas for a limited amount of time. And honestly, the people ripping him....what did you think you were going to go out and do on Friday night anyway? Everything was closed, and most roads were impassable by 10pm or earlier in some spots. Attack Patrick for the Drug Lab Scandal, his tax policies, his hands-off approach to immigration, or his overt tap-dancing at Obama's behest...but leave him alone about his storm response.
Runningonq February 10, 2013 at 05:45 PM
I agree the decision was the right one but I am under impressed with the results in terms of road quality. Side roads here are horrible. Even School in Mansfield/Norton are unacceptable.
Tree Hugger February 10, 2013 at 05:46 PM
It is the first time the roads were closed in 35 years! and even back then, no one had the wisdom to close the roads until AFTER the storm. How many pictures of abandoned cars on 128 did you see from this storm? While you're looking that up, I'll go ahead and tell you WHY they don't exist....because in this day and age of so many ways to get information out to the public compared to 1978, people paid attention and took the storm seriously. They heeded the warnings and the ban, and they stayed home. Your obvious attempt to bait people into further debate is also comical. How can Massachusetts, a state that sees snow almost regularly in varying amounts from November into April, shut down for EVERY storm? The state would be bankrupt after one snowy winter. This is New England...we stay open for business for the most part in snowstorms under 12-18", but 30" is another animal...and I don't fault Governor Urkel for his judgement call. It worked, it saved money and time, and potentially lives. Get over it.
Emcee of Seekonk February 10, 2013 at 05:54 PM
The governor's ban on driving was mostly a good idea. However, if you needed to evacuate because the house was getting too cold, you could not until sometime after 4:00 pm. Then, there was the problem of the shelter in Seekonk which opened at noon and was located at the middle school. How was a person to get there?
Myd Nevins February 10, 2013 at 05:58 PM
So Dan D, you are saying that if I had chosen to drive home from Boston to Milford that evening I'd have to stop at each and every town line and figure out if that specific town had a driving ban? That's your plan?
RSA February 10, 2013 at 05:59 PM
game. set. match. kirby.
citizen112 February 10, 2013 at 06:02 PM
noticed you left out the jail time.....
RSA February 10, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Define "best interests". It is not in the best interest of people to be given a one-sized fits-all dictate from an individual professing to know what is best for all of us. Patrick is an individual just like the rest of us, and has no special "power of reason" that each of us doesn't inherently have. Each individual can make the decision about the safety of his or her family. There is a poster on this thread that had to leave his home to prevent his family from freezing. He was turned into a common criminal because Patrick did his "thinking" for him. Politicians can never know or forecast the unique situations that families will face in a storm It is plain wrong to use the guns of the state to threaten punishment for self-determination. We can always conjure up a situation where someone MIGHT have ventured out and got stuck. The hypothetical works both ways. The fact is most people stay home during inclement weather. Is there the off chance that someone might make a bad decision and get stuck? Yes. And he or she would be cited for "interfering with official business" or some such law, OR they would be towed out of the way and pay the tow fee. We live with the risk of bad things possibly happening because we live in a free society.
Tree Hugger February 10, 2013 at 06:26 PM
I am fairly certain there were exemptions for evacuation. The ban was to cut down on the "hey man, let's go to the bar!" crowd.
RSA February 10, 2013 at 06:27 PM
The world isn't a perfectly safe place. Bad things happen. Let individuals decide for themselves the seriousness of the situation they are in. Lets not preemptively threaten EVERYONE because the POSSIBILITY exists of something incovenient happening. If Patrick didn't threaten people, it isn't as if otherwise reasonable people would go for a leisurely drive through a blizzard. It is a simple choice ultimately. Let people choose what is best for their dynamic situation. Or allow a small group of individuals in the state to decide for everyone, regardless of the nuances of their particular region or familial situation, in which manner to act. I side with the latter.
Carrie February 10, 2013 at 06:56 PM
I read that cab companies were being called by the police and told they should not be on the road. I am glad I didn't need any help yesterday from family members because they wouldn't have been able to come. I hope that the Governor goes ahead with some of his ideas to cut costs in the state. That I would like to see.
MLFD February 10, 2013 at 06:57 PM
The Governor did the right thing! He also left room for those who felt they had to be out as he refused to state enforcement of any real punishment for those on the roads. As a result, few people went out, the roads got plowed, and we are all getting back to normal.
Emcee of Seekonk February 10, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Tree Hugger: "I am fairly certain there were exemptions for evacuation." I hope so, because the situation was frustrating. Four o'clock becomes five o'clock becomes darkness. Many of the roads were horrendous... there were vehicles spinning their wheels to get out of 'stuck' situations, etc. Maybe he needed to exempt legitimate needs and make them known. Other than that, the ban appeared to be effective for most of the people.
Cheryl Tully Stoll February 10, 2013 at 07:39 PM
It was the right thing to do. RI and CT did the same and had the same type of smooth situation we did. NY did not and hundreds were stranded for over 12 hours on roads and some of them were writing good-bye notes to loved ones. The Governor and Mayor of Boston showed the leadership necessary to secure the safety of the people in MA. Fortunately, most people were smart enough to heed their advice--the few idiots who didn't should be fined the $500.00. Had those jerks encountered trouble our first responders would have been forced to jeopardize their own safety to help them.
Thomas J Burke February 10, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Once you post on this site and give your email they send you every post and you cannot stop it. If you do not want to get buried with hundreds of nonsense enails from every Patch in the stste then don't give them your email. This is worse that the biggest scam in America.
kathy Stevens February 10, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Gov Patrick called this one correctly. Look at pictures of New York. Remember 1978. Minimizing the time to clear the roads saves taxpayer's money. Minimizing the number of people who need to be rescued from their own foolishness saves us money.
Emcee of Seekonk February 10, 2013 at 08:03 PM
You can always opt out of being on the list. There is usually a checked checkbox at the end of a comment. Undo the check and you're off the list.
Chris Caesar February 10, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Yes, just click the "stop following" button above the comments section and they ought to stop.
Diana February 10, 2013 at 08:10 PM
All those mad driving skillz, but can't figure out how to use the internet. Are you some kind of savant?
Anna Bucciarelli February 10, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Time for a nap folks. The topic is exhausted ... he did what he did, like it or not. Now let's get ourselves shoveled out and ready for the next big one ... never can count on February for anything except surprises and I hear another storm of sorts is predicted. Dear Lord, let the crocus' nod their sweet heads soon.
Thomas J Burke February 10, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Clicking on the link that says stop sending emails only brings up a page with comment that the URL to stop emails does not exist and it does not stop the emails.
Joseph Edwards February 10, 2013 at 08:16 PM
You can stop it.
JT February 10, 2013 at 08:40 PM
People should use their common sense in situations like this--but there are always some who won't and will endanger others in the process. The ban was good in that respect, and the $500 fine certainly should have made folks think twice if they were hesitating over driving or staying home for no particular reason. However, the threatened jail time was absurd--and enough's been said about that here already. Exceptions should always be made of course for those needing to drive themselves or their families to a shelter or another safe location because their current one is dangerous (for example, no heat). That really is just common sense.


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