09 September 2008

Dems Court the Elderly by Mandating Frustratingly Slow Driving Behavior

Slow it Down, Ya Whippersnappers!

It's bad enough that the country is locked into the Ponzi schemes of Medicare and Social Security that we can't afford to get the all-important gray panther vote, but now the left-leaning pundits are jumping on the idea that every car be relegated to the slow lane behind Grandma tooling along to the bakery in her Buick. The 55 MPH speed limit has already been mulled over on environmental grounds, but Kent Sepkowitz takes it one step further and says that automobiles should be manufactured, with federal enforcement, to go no faster than 75! From the NY Times:
Our continued, deliberate production of potentially law-breaking devices has no real precedent. We regulate all sorts of items to decrease danger to the public, from baby cribs to bicycle helmets. Yet we continue to produce fast cars despite the lives lost, the tens of billions spent treating accident victims, and a good deal of gasoline wasted...

Despite all this, we Americans insist on the inalienable right to speed. Imagine, for a moment, if E-ZPass kept track of exactly when each car entered one toll booth and exited another, which would allow local governments to do some basic math, dividing distance traveled by time spent. If this calculation showed you to be a speeder, the authorities would send you a traffic ticket. Lives, money and oil would be saved and proof of wrongdoing would be undeniable, but the public outcry would be deafening.
Yes, Kent, the public outcry would probably be deafening, especially when motorists started getting traffic tickets for going 9,000 MPH due to a "basic math" error on the part of this shoddy enforcement measure. It's odd, how the Dems (yes Kent is definitely a liberal as evidenced by his campaign contributions) are so up in arms about the government's ability to monitor terrorist communication within our borders, but see no qualms with putting a tracker chip under your hood to ensure you are going easy on the lead foot.

Besides, driving under 75 might be a good idea on the eastern seaboard, but you try passing a trucker late on his delivery in western Nebraska. Sometimes you gotta put that hammer down unless you want to be a sitting duck in the big rig's killzone of a blindspot. To Kent's credit, he's a NYC doctor, and probably doesn't need to drive a little fast because he's running late for work. Of course, you don't see people from "fly-over" country calling for a federal mandate on Brie cheese because it might lead to a coronary.

I have always been astounded by people seeking federal policy, regulated by the suits in DC instead of at the local level, designed to socially engineer acceptable behavior to this utopian society they seek of people not driving, but riding around on tandem bikes with Obama bumper stickers slapped on the basket or some bullshit. Is it their own type of culture war because they despise the macho attitude embodied in fast cars? At least they came up with a flimsy guise for this proposal to regulate coolness. Next up is an Op-Ed about the noise from Harleys disrupting the eco-system, so everyone needs to drive a pink Vespa.