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  •  good thing cars and driving (31+ / 0-)

    are heavily regulated, with licenses and registrations, which need to be renewed regularly.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 11:25:37 PM PST

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    •  I love the motor vehicle argument (16+ / 0-)

      because it, better than any other, shows how gradually ramping up regulations has drastically cut accident and death rates.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:11:58 AM PST

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    •  I am not sure whether you meant that as irony (12+ / 0-)

      because the internet does not do nuance well.  I detect a note of sarcasm there and if that was what is meant, I agree.

      I was interviewing a man a few weeks ago at my office.  The conversation went like this:

      Me:  Good morning, Mr. Smith.  How did you get to my office this morning? ( I knew because I had seen him drive up, but I have a form to fill out and needed to ask anyway)

      Smith:  I drove myself.

      Me: Do you have a current and valid driver's license?

      Smith:  Nope.

      Me: How long have you been driving without a license?

      Smith:  Well, they took 'em back in 1986.  It might have been 1987, I don't rightly remember.

      Me:  What did they take your license for?

      Smith:  For DUI and driving without insurance.

      Me:  You have been driving without a license for more than 25 years?

      Smith:  Yep, I don't reckon I really need 'em.  I drive anyway and they don't do nothin' to me, 'cept put me in jail once in a while.

      Me:  How many times have you been arrested since then?

      Smith:  I don't rightly remember.  A lot.

      Me:  What was the most time you spent in jail?

      Smith:  I don't recall.  A week or so.  Once I got thirty days, but they let me go early 'cause the jail was full.

      Mr:  Have you paid all your fines?

      Smith:  Nope, I ain't paid none of them.  They won't give me my license back until I pay 'em, but I don't have no money to pay.  

      Me:  Do you have insurance on your truck? (he had driven up in an old beat-up pickup)

      Smith:  Naw, I ain't got no money to pay insurance.

      Me:  How many accidents have you had?

      Smith:  I don't rightly recall.  Quite a few.  They don't never do nothing to me 'cept put me in jail for a few days.

      Me:  If we added up all you owe in fines, how much would it be?

      Smith:  I dunno.  Twenty or thirty thousand dollars, maybe.

      Me:  Do you plan on paying any of that?

      Smith: I ain't got no money to pay it.  I barely get by.  I just got enough money to buy food, my cigarettes and some beer when I can afford it.

      Me: Do you use marijuana or other drugs?

      Smith:  Naw, I don't use no illegal drugs.  I don't want to get in trouble for that.  Besides, I like beer and that is good enough for me.

      Yep, regulations, taxes and mandatory insurance really do a lot to keep down the accident rate that kills people.  BTW, alcohol is the main cause of fatal accidents in our county.  

      The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

      by Otteray Scribe on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:27:02 AM PST

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    •  Yes, (11+ / 0-)

      and the fact that "cars don't kill people, people driving them do," hasn't stopped hundreds of car safety laws from being passed and saving lives. If I never hear that ridiculous phrase again it would be too soon.  Of course now we've got "it takes a good man with a gun to stop a bad man with a gun."  

      Let's see, how does that one work with cars?  "It takes a good driver to stop a bad driver."  Nope, doesn't work there either.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 06:32:54 AM PST

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    •  I wish they were a lot more regulated (7+ / 0-)

      especially talking on the phone and driving, and all forms of aggressive driving such as tailgating, exceeding the speed limit, etc.

      I think that for such a dangerous activity, cars are vastly under regulated.

      How big is your personal carbon footprint?

      by ban nock on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:02:11 AM PST

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      •  Technology is making progress on that (8+ / 0-)

        Many cars have accident avoidance systems and as laws catch up with technology, more autonomous features will become commonplace and help to reduce the numbers of accidents due to human error and negligence.

        I'm not suggesting people don't need to be more careful and laws don't need to be enforced more rigorously, just that technology will bring greater safety margins to the table.

        BTW, here in China the government recently enacted a "Zero Tolerance" policy for running yellow lights (commonly worse here than the USA) and what followed was great public outcry by drivers getting "unfairly" ticketed for breaking the law, including complaints that auto drivers were getting unfairly targeted verses bicycle riders.

        Seems it's human nature to complain about whatever regulations we don't like applied to ourselves and to always find a reason to convince ourselves we are being victimized.

        But actually, cars are more regulated than guns in the USA, yet more numerous, and so it suggests tighter regulation of guns would work, be practical and not result in denial of qualified persons.

        Can you imagine how much more dangerous the USA would be if cars were unregulated, unlicensed and untraceable to the owners? Or considered a basic human right without qualification?

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:45:12 AM PST

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        •  Speaking of which (6+ / 0-)

          Smart gun technology could save lives....

          Proponents of smart gun technology say that smart gun technology would reduce or eliminate accidental use and misuse of guns by children and teens, as well as reducing accidental discharges or the use of a gun against the owner if it is stolen or taken away.
          Smart gun technology could have, in fact, prevented Adam Lanza from using his mother's guns. It could all but eliminate gun trafficking and illegal gun use. Not to mention the number of children who would be saved from gun accidents.

          Nothing is happening on this front right now, because in addition to the NRA, groups like the Violence Policy Center oppose it, for reasons that I really can't wrap my head around...more on that here.

          You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

          by SwedishJewfish on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 10:07:54 AM PST

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        •  I used to rent long term at the police owned (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gerrilea

          guest house. At the restaurant you have to sit where there's a seat. I noticed the plain clothes policeman was carrying, under his jacket, one of those tiny pistols they seem to like, not sure what it was, anyway I mentioned I wished anyone could have guns like in my country and he was adamant that was a bad idea. This in a town awash in heroin out of Burma.

          Getting back to the subject one day a cadre told me a political joke about traffic lights. He said in most places red is stop, green is go, but in Guangdong red means go around.

          How big is your personal carbon footprint?

          by ban nock on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 07:34:30 PM PST

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          •  The problem that many seem to forget is that (0+ / 0-)

            gun restrictions alter the balance of power between people and the state.  Specifically, they alter the balance of power between law abiding people and the state.  The criminals will still have their guns, the police will still have their guns, the elites will still have their guns, but the 99% will be disarmed.

      •  Come to California -- these are heavily (5+ / 0-)

        regulated. We have the most aggressive and proactive area highway patrol in the country, and fines are $250 up (to over $1k) for all of these.

        If I drive my thirty-ish minute commute to work, I generally see 3-6 cop cars along the way, sometimes more. On a rare, rare day, I might only see 1. They are actively sitting on the side of the highway or roads and pulling people over.

        Just a side note that this varies widely from state-to-state. I've been all over the country and in other places, it's quite different.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 10:14:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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