Just for the record, last week’s predicted “storm of the century” is now ranked as onlythe 36th biggest snowstorm in New York in the last 125 years. The neighbor kids could barely come up with a decent snowman out of that meager dusting—less than six inches I’d guess. And yet, in the days before the storm, politicians reacting to the self-important meteorological industry and the self-promoting television executives and weatherman, called a state of emergency in five states before a flake of snow even hit the ground, and shut down roads, subways and trains all over Greater New York.

For one night in 2015, based on prediction and not actual snowfall, it became illegal to travel in many parts of the Northeastern United States.

“Hunker down in your homes,” they warned of Snowmaggedon. “This one could be worst storm you’ll ever experience.” For goodness sakes, even ordering Chinese takeout was banned last week by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

And yet, today, Feb. 2, one week later, after heavy snow across the Northeast and flash freezing that has caused black ice, there is no travel ban in place anywhere. Well, they did cancel the Patriots parade up in Boston, but that’s about it. The pols evaluated the snow, sleet and black ice, and determinied that travelers should take care, but ultimately make their own choices. Wait, what?

Well, to quote Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, he says that “credibility becomes an issue when travel bans are imposed too frequently.”

I’d take that a step further and say that enacting travel bans based on a pure speculation  is not a wise thing to do.  What ends up happening if the blizzard doesn’t hit the intended areas? Instead of it being a safety precaution, it becomes a draconian rule placed on the people in that area.

It was politics that brought the Northeast to a screeching halt, politics that trapped you in your home with your nine-months pregnant wife, politics, I tell you, that limited the generous tips I could have gotten taxi-ing people up from the train station during the snow, and yes, politics that closed banks branches, Starbucks, pizza places, Chinese restaurants, stores, and schools early last Monday, before snow was even falling. Politics forbid you from making that trip to Home Depot to buy a generator, or to make much needed repairs to your business.

You see, for politicians, it is sort of a public relations insurance policy to be seen as taking extreme measures to preserve the public safety rather than being viewed as an uncaring risk-taker. Don’t deceive yourself, they are always conscious of the next election, and fear of storms have proven to be great opportunities to show off empathy, planning and personal heroics for politicians.

But here’s the question: Should traveling in a blizzard—snow, sleet, winds, rain or ice—ever be considered a criminal act?

Some people say that the travel bans made people safer last week, but I doubt there was any major benefits from such a ban.   Should people be allowed to use their better judgment, even if they are given suggestions by the media or political press conferences? Businesses were forced to close for a storm that never amounted to much because their workers weren’t legally permitted to travel to work. Profits were lost. Paychecks were less lucrative. Productivity came to a standstill. Deals went to offices in states where workers were actually answering the phones.

A ban of this kind also allocates resources to more superfluous tasks instead of more important ones.  Would you prefer law enforcement officers chasing down people for going to the gas station or actually doing something more critical to the populace? Police and Emergency workers already have enough to worry about during such an event and piling on more things to worry about only makes the situation more difficult.  A ban of this sort is practically unenforceable and it puts everyone — even the officers — at risk.

Traveling through a blizzard — no matter how dumb it is — is not a criminal act and making it one is preposterous.  It is always vital to have a clear head on your shoulders when you are in these kinds of predicaments, but the political hacks most certainly didn’t.  This ban had no major impact on the outcomes that were going to happen, and the only thing that came about from this ban was an annoying headache.  New Hampshire didn’t have a travel ban during this blizzard and the world didn’t end up there.  Let’s face it, today’s snowy black-iced roads that we are free to drive upon are proof enough that last week’s ban was an overreaction to pundits and publicity.  We shouldn’t be forced to let Mother Nature, or predictions about storms, stop us from making best-evidence decisions on our own about whether or not to set out for our next destination.