Forgive the use of this obvious and overused phrase: Americans have very special relationships with their cars. But it’s true and a couple things I read this week reminded me of this.
First, this letter to the editor of the Savannah Morning News (scroll down to “Safe driving a personal responsibility”) that acknowledges the danger of texting while driving, but warns we should keep government our of our cars.
“People can do what they want while they drive. The state representatives cannot stop anyone from reading and responding to text messages. It is neither their phone nor their car, so they should back off.”
Of course we can do anything we want while we drive. Isn’t that in the constitution or something? But why limit it to cars? I’d like to ride down the middle of Broughton Street on the back of my moderately tame grizzly bear while swinging my baseball bat. Also, I will be blindfolded. While I don’t mean to intentionally hurt anyone, I understand that my bear could maul a bystander and that my bat could conk someone on the head. Still, it’s my bear, my bat and my blindfold. So back off!
If we get government out of our cars, what should they be doing? Our letter writer knows:
“I can understand them feeling responsible for what goes on, but they should be taking care of more important things like fixing roads, helping people who need jobs and insurance, and the necessities that the state has to deal with.”
It is important to note that “fixing roads” is code that usually means widening them to five lanes or more without any consideration given to road users who do not travel in cars. These “fixed” roads are dangerous by design. Two local teenagers were serioulsy injured on one such road this week. At least our letter writer can take solace in the fact that our elected officials are taking care of more important things, like drafting laws that punish drivers who fail to speed.