Recent discussion on Maritime Morning (News 97.5 LISTEN LIVE) prompted me to scrawl a few notes that have been not been transcribed yet:
Should cars be electronically limited to 150 km/hr? (HT @cheneydrive Peter Cheney via Maritime Morning)
Is there even a need to discuss this? Don’t auto manufacturers preach about how *safe* they are making their vehicles? Apparently this is “Lip Service” if they can justify having a public vehicle that even exceeds posted speed limits by more than 10% in Canada and the USA.
If there was a choice, I would choose to buy only vehicles from “responsible” manufactures that limit the speeds of a public consumer car or truck. Police Cars and other Emergency vehicles (And Airlines) are the only ones that have a need to exceed the posted speed limits. We would have less *Stunting*, less tragic deadly accidents and safer roads if Automotive Manufacturers really did care about Public Safety.
AUTO DAYLIGHT RUNNING & HEADLIGHTS
The law requires me to use daylight running lights while driving in Nova Scotia (and perhaps other provinces and states). My Ford Aerostar is too old to have this Auto Feature installed, but my Chevy Venture does. I have never had to put my headlight on, since I owned a Chevy Venture. What a brilliant (no pun intended) idea! Driving lights come on automatically when the vehicle is started, and anytime that it clouds over or at dusk, the headlights and taillights automatically come on. Is that so hard to duplicate for every other safety conscious manufacturer? I challenge any automotive manufacturer to provide objective evidence of this being a *bad idea*. Keep that in mind when you purchase a new or used vehicle.
DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS
We hear a lot about distracted driving laws lately. Cell Phone usage, texting, inattentiveness of all types does cause accidents and unnecessary deaths. I don’t smoke, but often wonder why the cigarette ashtray/lighter (if installed) is not within easy reach of the driver. If you have 40 inch arms, you might be OK, otherwise you must reach out of your *comfort zone* to reach these options. Of course, if you are a smoker, well, chances are an accident caused by reaching is not of immediate concern to you. And Driver Vanity Mirrors on the Sun visor, that sure doesn’t promote safe driving. No one ever abuses that while operating a motor vehicle, right?
My Chevy Venture has another great feature: Have you ever followed someone for 100kms with a signal light still blinking (if anyone really bothers to use them at all)? The Venture starts beeping a reminder if the turn signal is left on, so you can turn it off if the turn was not wide enough to do it automatically. This should be a standard feature in all vehicles.
“The police enforce speeding laws” – Why make them responsible for your whim to break the law? “But I am a race-car driver” and how many of them are on our roads: Enough to compromise public safety? “Driving is a privilege, not a right” don’t add to the problem, this isn’t at parity with “Gun Control” this is about a controllable, reasonable action that can save lives.
There is no excuse for Road Rage and bad driving. But everyone (myself included) has done something stupid and unsafe when frustrated by that left-lane driver with a complete disregard for the posted signs “KEEP RIGHT EXCEPT TO PASS”. I know people who move to the left lane and stay there, only to turn right off the highway exit after 100Kms in the wrong lane. So, I might be tempted to shoot by on the right lane, often exceeding the posted speed limit, out of frustration. While my actions were incorrect, if the police ticketed those that refuse to observe the passing lane rules (pass and get back in the right lane) I would not even dream of doing an illegal and unsafe pass. Why is so much emphasis placed on Seat Belts & Speeding Laws, and so little enforcement of Passing Lane or Slow Driver infractions? Preventative ticketing would reduce road rage, IMHO.
Everyone that drives has some *pet peeve* about drivers. In the interest of brevity (of which I find challenging) I won’t get into the other dozens of improvements that could be made, both to the manufacturing of vehicles, and to vehicle operation and enforcement of traffic laws.
In Nova Scotia, Canada, a local radio station used to produce and give its listeners license plates that read “Courtesy is contagious” I think it is time to bring those plates back, as we wonderfully friendly Nova Scotians lose our freakin’ minds every time we get into a vehicle. #justsayin