SPEEDING is the cause of 30 percent of all traffic deaths in the
Most cars can travel over 100 miles an hour — an illegal speed in every state. 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. (Speeding, after all, substantially reduces fuel efficiency due to the sheering force of wind.)
Because the ticket-them-till-they-stop approach simply would not work, we might consider my initial recommendation: build cars that can’t exceed the speed limit. The technology to limit car speed has existed for more than 50 years — it’s called cruise control. In its common application, cruise control maintains a steady speed, but a minor adjustment would assure that vehicles, no matter the horsepower, never go past 75 miles per hour. This safety measure should be required of every new automobile, the same as seat belts, turning signals, brake lights and air bags.
Sure, it would take us longer to get from here to there. But thousands of deaths a year are too great a cost for so adolescent a thrill as speeding.
Well, check that. Puritanism was the second thing I thought… stupidity… sheer abject frickin’ idiocy… was actually the first. I’ve been kinda waiting for the do-gooders among us to resurrect that brilliant idea from the ‘70s: the national 55 mph speed limit. Gas crisis, conservation of our precious resources, and all that. But even the most controlling of the control freaks haven’t seriously advanced that idea. Yet.
But this lil op-ed took me completely by surprise. The author, Kent Sepkowitz, is the vice-chairman of medicine at
There are other flaws in Mr. Sepkowitz’ “speed kills” assertion, chief among them is the omission of the conditional argument. Speed, in and of itself, does not and cannot kill. Going too fast for conditions… e.g., rain, snow, ice, fog… most certainly can and does kill. It’s a judgment issue. So, in typical do-gooder fashion, Mr. Sepkowitz wants to penalize the majority of us who exercise good judgment to protect the yahoos who don’t. And then there’s the classic example of
Which brings up another issue. It’s much more difficult to get a drivers license in
But noooo… what we really need to do is put speed governors on all our cars. God Save Us from Mr. Sepkowitz and his ilk. Keep working on the cure for cancer, Mr. Sepkowitz, and leave my frickin’ car ALONE, thankyouverymuch.
A couple more from My Bud Ed in
WOMAN'S PERFECT BREAKFAST
She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee. Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box. Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week. Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl. And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.
CIGARETTES AND TAMPONS
A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up & down the aisles. The sales girl notices him and asks him if she can help him. He answers that he is looking for a box of tampons for his wife. She directs him down the correct aisle.
A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string on the counter.
She says, confused, “Sir, I thought you were looking for some tampons for your wife?”
He answers, “You see, it's like this. Yesterday I sent my wife to the store to get me a carton of cigarettes and she came back with a tin of tobacco and some rolling papers, cause it's sooo-ooo--oo-ooo much cheaper. So I figure if I have to roll my own… so does she.”
(I figure this guy is the one on the milk carton!)
There were more, but I’m saving ‘em for a rainy day.
Today’s Pic: The first photo of SN1 in The Sandbox, taken sometime yesterday. He assures me more are forthcoming. Note the amazing amount of dust (for a military environment) and the sandbagged window. Interesting, eh?