Warner Robins Issues Curfew During Hurricane Irma

Warner Robins Curfew

As Hurricane Irma downgraded to a Tropical Storm and pushed into Georgia, the mayor of Warner Robins issued a curfew. The Warner Robins Police Department posted the notice at the top of their page to their Twitter account.

It feels an awful lot like the city is telling us, “For your own safety, we will insure being outside is unsafe by committing violence on anyone who leaves their home.”

When challenged about the reason for the curfew, the police department responded with this article:

Over 37,000 people in Warner Robins are without power leaving several intersections within the city without operable traffic signals. This was one of the main reasons Mayor Randy Toms issued a city-wide curfew beginning at 6PM Monday until 6AM Tuesday.
If you are not conducting legitimate business such as going to or from work, leaving to go to a place of safety, going to the hospital or are a first responder please refrain from using the roadways. All eateries and entertainment venues must close their doors by 8PM.
The curfew was not to make your lives harder, but to protect you. Several intersections are without power, when the sun sets we have no way of predicting how dark those roadways will be and how much danger that may put you or 1st responders in the area. 

There are a few notable problems with this line of reasoning.

  1. We already have laws in place which regulate how people should behave at a traffic light that is not functioning. Treat it like a stop sign.
  2. Cars have headlights and we rely on them all the time in the darkness.
  3. Why does the city get to dictate “legitimate business” to a free people? Let these businesses make the best decisions for themselves, their families, and their customers. For some, that will be to close up shop and head home. For others, that will mean they remain open to service their community.

Curfews are immoral, blatant abuses of power. The police use the threat of force to insure people are in the places THEY deem appropriate or “legitimate”. Only an individual can determine the most appropriate place to be during an emergency. People have differing priorities, needs, wants, and they should always be allowed to exercise their freedom, even in the face of danger.

Also published on Medium.