Cars carrying obscene bumper stickers to face $50 fine - WSMV Channel 4

Cars carrying obscene bumper stickers to face $50 fine

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - You and your friends may think it's funny, but watch out. A bumper sticker considered obscene could get you slapped with a $50 fine.  

"I think anybody has the right to put on their vehicle what they want to put on their vehicle," said Clarksville mom Katherine Johnson. "I believe it's up to us as parents to let our children know what that is and what it means. Let them know whatever it is, that it's not right to say or do."

Johnson said her style of parenting isn't to shield her kids but educate them. That's why she weighed in on a new Tennessee law that goes after drivers with bumper stickers carrying profanity or explicit messages.

"They're going to hear it in anything else that they hear and see," said Johnson. "We can't take it away from cartoons, can't take it away from the news. Why take it off our cars?"

Already, judges are allowed to fine drivers with bumper stickers considered obscene, but supporters of the new law say it'll take that $50 fine for drivers to take notice and change.

Area mom Birgit James agrees. She has a bumper sticker herself reading, "Proud Parent of a Terrific Kid". It's her protection of her son Malachi that has her saying stricter fines for obscene bumper stickers are overdue.

"It's not Christian-like," said James. "I want to set a good example for my son. I don't like to see things like that."

According to Johnson, this comes down to a free speech issue.

"I think I should be able to put on my car whatever I want to put on my car," said Johnson. "I don't choose to put that stuff on there, but I don't think we should restrict that kind of stuff."

The same $50 fine also applies to anyone playing an adult film in the view of other cars. Any of these cases can be contested in court to determine whether the offense was obscene or not.

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