A recent forty-three car pile up on Interstate 75 in Detroit got me thinking. A sudden snowfall whipped up over the freeway on January 31st causing cars and trucks to slam into one another. More than a dozen people were hurt and three people were killed; two of which, where children. One was seven and the other was nine. Tragedy. No better way to summon up the Muse today than with tragedy. Sad we don’t have any Greek Oracles any more. I understand that Delphi thing was natural gas or something that made those girls see some wacky stuff. Envy over here.
Anyhow, let’s end the devastating loss of a young life. The solution is simple: We need better restrictions on automobiles. Better Vehicle Control. For the kids, ya know?
Clearly people aren’t being properly trained on driving in wintry conditions. It takes little more than some classroom time, several hours behind the wheel and a face to get a license. Note that “Behind the Wheel Time” does not have to be conducted during winter. What is the State thinking? And here’s the worst part: You can buy a car even if you don’t have a license! We need to close the Dealership / Showroom Loophole.
I propose requiring background checks before someone buys a car. The fact is, a buyer is usually the driver. Let’s admit that. Let’s also make sure any prior speeding, red light running, improper towing, improper mud flap using, too close following, sidewalk driving, failing to use signal convicted driver/buyer can’t buy a car. Let’s make sure all the improper load wielding, fail to yield, broken windshield, amber light runners stay in the parked position.
Secondly, those who pass the background check should be at least twenty-one-years old. No more reckless youth behind the wheel. Or better yet, no driving until at least twenty-five-years old? That’s about the time the human brain matures to its full potential. The time when the final part of the brain (the risk center) is fully developed. Bonus: We’re looking at high unemployment numbers anyhow. Preventing young adults from driving would reduce access to jobs. They can be full-time students while unemployed, older adults fill the gaps. It’s a win-win.
Also, no new cars, trucks, vans or vehicles otherwise normally identified as a “car” should be within one-thousand-feet of a building otherwise normally identified as a school. This may exclude cars otherwise normally referred to as a “bus”.
Furthermore, wishful drivers should have to complete a Basic Vehicle Safety Questionaire while at the Dealership / Showroom. Any score under 70% would disqualify the sale. This would reduce Human Cholesterol, those who can’t read the speed limit signs and drive like grandma on her way to her free McDonald’s coffee (I apologize to grandmas and McDonalds for any stereotype this may construe). It would also help eliminate rush hour where no one’s rushing, everyone’s standing still – checking their text, checking the latest Tweet from the Biebs, ya know? Traffic would get it’s flow back.
Finally, the potential driver or owner of said car would be required to take an Oath before a Notary Public certifying they will comply with all city, state and federal traffic laws. And don’t forget to file a copy of the purchase with your local police. Also, present the vehicle itself to your local police for a safety inspection within ten days of purchase. Let’s make sure those brakes are working, tires have the correct pressure and the radio isn’t dialed past four.
And under no circumstances should children under the age of eighteen be allowed in a vehicle. There’s an epidemic of childhood obesity anyhow so this would encourage walking. Win-win.
Now for some boring stats:
In 2011, there were 10.8 million car accidents. Out of these, over thirty-two-thousand people were killed. I’ll say it again, numerically. Over 32,000 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2011, over thirty-one-thousand died from gun injuries. Numerically, that’s 31,000. That’s about even enough to start treating cars like guns. (Note: These numbers were based on Google searches so they’re totally reliable).
Tobacco causes 443,000 deaths annually, which includes second hand smoke. Football causes eighteen deaths a year. Between 1982 and 2007, cheeleading resulted in forty-two deaths. (Damn, dead cheerleaders. That’s worth pouring the rest of my forty on a sidewalk). And bathtub falls result in…
Let’s eradicate these scourges on society…for the good of the children. Let’s put these dangerous Vehicles of Mass Transportation under control.
Oh, and there’s no need to ever be in such a damn hurry. We should ban all V8 engines and govern lesser models to not exceed seventy-miles-per-hour. An exception can be made for police and otherwise normally identified “Emergency Personnel” to have access to high velocity capable engines.
I feel weird right now. I just solved a predicament with a government solution. Now let’s send this off to Congress where it can expand into a thousand pages that no one will ever read or understand and get amended to add funding for a few Senator’s pet projects. Yeah, this is gonna work super awesome.