Friday, December 13, 2013

One Easy Way to Make Everyone's Commute Better

There's got to be a better way.

I think just about everyone from all walks of life can agree that there are too many idiot drivers on the roads these days. Many believe it is their God-given right to have a car and to use it no matter how poorly they drive. These people are wrong. We would all be much better off if there were less people on the roads. One way to do that would be to toughen the requirements to be a driver.

Some of you may still be on the fence about the bad effects all these cars on the road have on our quality of life. The abundance of motor vehicles leads to countless deaths every year in the United States: over 32,000. That makes it the leading cause of death due to injury (according to the CDC).

Also, according to the EPA, approximately half of all air pollution comes from motor vehicles. If that is still not enough evidence to convince you that motor vehicles are the devil, Americans owe over three quarters of a TRILLION dollars inauto loan debt. And, driving cars is associated with a sedentary lifestyle contributing to record obesity rates in the United States.

So, to summarize, our love affair with motor vehicles is leading to

  • Our death, through accidents
  • Poor air quality
  • Financial instability
  • Fat asses
Despite all of these negatives associated with driving, the majority of Americans still consider car ownership a necessity. What can be done to get them off the fossil fuel teet?

Courtesy of

What Can We Do to Improve Our Quality of Life

One solution to getting cars off the road is to make it incredibly hard to own a car. For one, we could raise the safety standards that potential car drivers must meet. The road tests could be more difficult. The written test could be harder to pass with tougher questions and a higher number of correct answers needed to pass. As it is, you can pass most states’ tests while still making errors that could kill someone down the road.

If the fees for obtaining and renewing a driver's licence were increased, it would become cost prohibitive for some. More people would reconsider driving. The surplus money collected from these fees could be funneled into subsidizing public transportation.

Finally, there need to be harsher penalties for people who break the law while driving. When you operate a motor vehicle, you are essentially moving around in a two-ton bullet. If someone misuses a gun, which has much smaller bullets, they lose their right to own a gun. That right is protected by the Constitution. You do not have the right to own a car.

I propose for “minor” offenses - not using a turn signal, speeding, running a pink light, etc. – that do not lead to accidents, there should be a one-year suspension for the driver and mandatory retesting. For worse offenses – driving under the influence, causing an accident, driving without a valid license, etc. – the penalty will be permanent suspension of driving privileges as well as jail time.

In summary, to decrease the number of drivers on the road, we should

  • Increase the difficulty of both driving and written tests
  • Increase the fees associated with obtaining and maintaining a driver’s license
  • Introduce much harsher penalties for unsafe driving
Courtesy of

What Fewer Drivers Will Look Like

The benefits will be many and profound for those motorists who are responsible enough to get and maintain a driver’s license. One of the more superficial benefits that will appeal to most of us is shorter commutes. This means more times with our families or World of Warcraft.

For those who are not privileged enough to procure a license, there will be public transportation, which will be getting much more funding and thus providing better services. When you are on the bus, subway, or train, you are free to read, surf the web, or just kick back and relax while someone else does the driving. You could also take up bicycling to work and crank out your workout during your commute.

By removing the more unsafe drivers, it stands to reason that there will be fewer accidents. Plus, those who are driving will drive safely and responsibly to keep their licenses. Darwin may get upset about this, but you know, the families of the potential innocent responsible folks who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time will be happy…or at least will not experience the pain that would have occurred. Or something.

With fewer cars on the roads, there would be less need for traffic cops. This will free the police up for going after the real criminals: pot smokers (kidding!)

Overall, with decreased motor vehicle usage, we will lead healthier, happier lives. With less pollutants clogging up the air, our air quality will improve. Hell, maybe cancer will be less common.

So, in summary, by reducing the number of drivers through increased restrictions and fees, we can expect:

  • Shorter commutes for drivers
  • Improved public transportation
  • More enjoyable commutes
  • Fewer accidents
  • More cops focusing on real crimes
  • Less pollution
If you disagree, please explain why. If you agree, please share this near and far.

No comments:

Post a Comment