Florida's legislature is not famous for passing competent, legally sound bills. (Remember when they tried to forbid doctors from talking to patients about guns and the courts were like, "LOL! First Amendment. No." Good times.)
Still, it takes a particularly dumb law to simultaneously piss off all of Canada and potentially violate the Geneva Convention. Yet that's exactly what Tally seems to have accomplished with an act that went into effect last month requiring an international driver's license for anyone on Florida roads.
The law in question garnered zero press attention when it passed last year. In January, it put a new onus on foreign drivers to have an International Driving Permit, or else risk arrest for driving without a license.
Canadian media got wind of the new rule earlier this week and the tens of thousands of snowbirds who spend February driving around Hollywood searching desperately for decent poutine promptly went bananas. Previously, a Canadian driver's license was accepted. The snowbirds would not stand for it!
An "avalanche" of press calls came into FHP's offices, the Toronto Globe and Mail reports, catching the agency off guard.
Canadians also quickly realized the new rule violated the Geneva Conventions -- not the famous anti-torture statutes, but another section of the rules that binds countries to accept driver's licenses from other nations who have signed.
The Canadian Automobile Association -- which would have been tasked with issuing the thousands of new International Driving Permits -- also let Florida know it wasn't thrilled with the law.
"We made it very clear and an awful lot of Canadians have made it very clear over the last day to Florida officials that they're not at all happy about this and don't feel that it's necessary," CAA spokesman Ian Jack tells the Globe and Mail.
Faced with a Canadian insurrection and a possible violation of international law, FHP has backed down this morning. They announced the law won't be enforced until the state can sort out whether it in fact violates the Geneva Convention.
Crisis averted. Until the next boneheaded bill worms its way out of Tallahassee, at least.
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