Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Taxation Without Representation

Sent off the check for my most recent ticket today. Not particularly happy about that, of course. I hope they get the point. Of course the only person to see it will be some clerk who has nothing to do with the policies that resulted in my ticket, but it makes me feel better!

I have a proposal that most of my friends have probably been subject to during one rant or another. I think i'll now expose you to it as well...

I don't think i've ever posted anything regarding my fantastically amazing idea to revolutionize the way traffic is controlled and regulated here in the good 'ole U.S. of A. It's quite simple really, it's all about stages. There would be perhaps three primary stages--or classes--of licenses and of cars.

A stage 1 license would be very difficult to obtain, but would allow the driver greater leeway and freedom of judgement. A stage 3 license would be equivalent to what is now the standard-issue driver's license, and would require adherence to more strict regulations.

Cars would also be rated. A BMW M3, because of the quality and performance of its brakes, suspension and other critical systems, would be rated as a class A vehicle. An old VW bus, for the same reasons would be a class C vehicle.

If you're a stage 3 licensed driver, cruising along a 3-lane secion of Interstate 5 in your class C vehicle, you're limited to 65 mph and are not allowed to use the far-left lane. If you're a stage 1 driver in a class A vehicle, your speed is limited based on the basic speed law. In other words, if your vehicle is capable of safely reacting to road hazards while traveling at 120mph, and visibility is sufficient to allow you to see them, then go 120mph.

A stage A driver, in a class C car may be allowed to use the left lane briefly to pass, but must ensure that it is safe to do so (nobody closing on them at 60mph from behind), and is still limited to 70 mph. Other combinations of license and vehicle result in other restrictions. It seems complex, but it wouldn't take long for everyone to figure it out. We drive every day, we'd get it.

If 55 or 65 was safe 40 years ago, then 100mph is at least as safe today, given the technological advances now present in what would be considered class A vehicles. We've seen incredible advances in suspension, tires and brakes, we've got computerized systems to keep our cars under control and pointing the right direction, we have better headlights and we have better roads. Of course, humans are still driving, and accidents will still happen (no matter how fast or slow we go); but with frames designed to absorb impacts safely, air bags on all sides and numerous other life-saving technologies in place, new cars are much safer than ever before..

How about it?

(motorcycles of course would be subject to no restrictions whatsoever) (except for mandatory wheelies at least once per 100 miles travelled)

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