Going Slow To Go Fast

… and how would you make everyone go 75 MPH? I’d really like to know how you would accomplish that.

Perhaps you missed the part where I said I DIDN’T think going back to a national 55 MPH speed limit would be a good idea. I wasn’t a driver back then, but my father was, and he never kept his speed below 55. Having a posted speed limit of 55 MPH didn’t “make everyone go 55”, it made everyone a lawbreaker, even my father, who was a traffic engineer.

In my humble opinion, road rage isn’t something inflicted upon you. It’s something you inflict upon yourself because you can’t (or refuse to) control your emotions, so don’t blame others (or the speed limit) for your road rage. If you can’t control your temper, you only have yourself to blame.

In my humble opinion, requiring an EIQ (emotional intelligence quotient) test to get a driver’s license is the only thing that could possibly reduce road rage. Anything else you do to try to reduce road rage is just rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic.

“and how would you make everyone go 75 MPH?”

Automated vehicles on the interstate.
Once on the entry ramp the driver takes his hands and feet off the controls.
Only the brakes are available, and the car navigates to the shoulder if the brakes are used.
Hit a button to take the next exit, whereupon control is returned.

Honestly, it’s no more possible to make everyone go 75 than it is to make everyone go 55…or 65. Rolling blockades are merely momentary interruptions in the normal flow. The normal flow resumes immediately.

I agree with your comment on the road rage. Sadly, however, there are a whole lot of people out there who would become enraged if one were to rolling-blcockade a highway to try to make everyone go the same speed. I persoanlly would be frustrated, but rage simply isn’t how I roll, at least not with regards to traffic.

An EIQ wouldn’t work. Emotional stability and intelligence are unrelated. Many highly unstable yet intelligent peoepl would pass with flying colors and many stable yet intellectually channged people might do poorly.

There is a difference between someone’s IQ and someone’s EIQ. EIQ is more about emotional maturity than intelligence, but for some reason psychologists insist on calling it emotional intelligence.

I like to use the example of tenured professors and educational administrators. For the most part, they are quite intelligent, but there are quite a few that aren’t capable of controlling their tempers (eg. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.). Lawyers also typically make a good example of high IQ, but low EIQ.

There is some merit to identifying the mentally unstable to the greater public. I have long advocated that drivers licenses be issued that indicated the level of a drivers abilities, DUI history, road rage history, visual restrictions, etc., that would be affixed to the vehicle and visible from a few car lengths away. Just make it 5 x 7 and color coded for easy identification of troubled drivers, learners permits, etc. Many driver should be restricted from freeway traffic and speeds above 45 mph.

Rod, your system sounds like a good one. Color coded plates to identify restrictions could make our roads safer. They could also allow the use of cars with small engines, such as those imported from Asian countries for off road use, to be used on lower speed roads and provide a good way of controlling that.

I like it.

The only caveat I’d add is that more than one DUI comviction should result in (among other punishmenst) permanent suspension of driving privaleges. Since I’d combine that with confiscation of the vehicle with every conviction, it should substantially eliminate the opportunity for a multiply convicted DUI to be driving. Who in their right mind would loan someone their car of they knew it might get confiscated?

I must admit that 45+ years ago I apparently drove home drunk. Luckily no one was injured and at an early age I saw how stupid I was and have never driven after drinking in the years since and prefer severe restrictions to total banning. So, hit me with your best shot. But I feel certain that each of us must live with the choices we make and the driving public should be aware of unproven and irresponsible drivers who are on the road with us. I have been faced with one obvious “raging lunatic” on the highway between D.C. and Baltimore and can’t for the life of me understand how such a lack of self control allows someone to support himself.

Yes, and while you’re at it, why not sterilize people that don’t rate as intelligent enough to have children, force people to live in neighborhoods segregated according to intelligence (locking the gates at night, solely for their own protection of course), and require everyone to wear a display that’s connected to sensors that detect when they’re lying, having lustful thoughts, or are not 100% happy. If you’ve ever seen “GATTACA”, this would be the logical next step after these restrictions.

While I’ve thought at times that some of these wouldn’t be bad ideas, these would lead to mass riots and mayhem, and so would your draconian ideas of restricting drivers, albeit to a lesser degree.

While I don’t advocate driving drunk, and I’ve not personally had a DUI, I don’t think you should destroy someone’s life and revoke their driving privileges forever for one mistake. People with multiple DUIs and where harm has been caused, yes. Anyone can make one mistake, especially when they’re young and don’t know any better. All you’d be doing is punishing the lower end of the bell curve, a group that gets crapped on by life and society every day. Maybe for people convicted of DUIs mandate a breathalyzer interlock in the car’s ignition to not let someone who is drunk start a vehicle, and that would immobilize it for 12 hours.

Please let me be clear. I am not suggesting we should test people’s EIQ to get a driver’s license. I was just saying that would be the only way I can think of to decrease road rage. I think road rage is something we can’t cure, and on a basis of liberty, we have little right to try. The best we can do is utilize court-ordered anger management classes for those convicted of crimes related to road rage.

“While I don’t advocate driving drunk, and I’ve not personally had a DUI, I don’t think you should destroy someone’s life and revoke their driving privileges forever for one mistake.”

It’s not a mistake. It’s a choice. How many people get a DUI who could have afforded to take a taxi? With the amount of education out there, especially in drivers education class, everyone who is licensed should know better. Stop making excuses.

I could be flexible, and agree that once you get a second DUI, you lose your driver’s license … permanently. If you kill someone while driving drunk, whether it is your first DUI or not, you should lose your driver’s license … permanently. We are too soft on drunk drivers. Anyone who doesn’t “know better” has no excuse.

The DUI problem needs some attention and MADD doesn’t seem to be getting much done other than giving its staff healthy salaries and expense accounts. In my area a good lawyer can keep a driver’s record clean for a few $thousand while the poor go to jail and lose what little they own if caught. But, that’s a different story. The biggest complaint in this area is the frequency of trains passing through town and stopping traffic at a busy intersection for 5+ minutes once an hour. Some people are outraged and the city has proposed spending $400 million to raise the tracks in a city with a population of 30,000. Can we sing “High Hopes”

While driving drunk is a choice to some extent, at least for seasoned drinkers, a younger person with little experience with alcohol would also have their ‘decision’ to drive affected by the impairing effects of the alcohol. So something that would seem like a really bad idea when sober, would be shrugged off when a person is impaired. As inhibitions go down, so does good judgement.

I was just making the point that people do deserve second chances. People, especially young people, do make mistakes. I just don’t think taking away a person’s driving privileges forever (and forfeiting their car) for a mistake is the right idea. People that willingly steal, vandalize, and assault don’t get as heavy a punishment.

I think the current punishments plus the stigma of having “party plates” on your car for all to see is punishment enough in situations where no harm was done.

I acknowledge alcohol impairs judgment. That’s why it’s so important to make these choices before you start drinking, by giving up the keys and making other arrangements, like having a designated driver. In my younger bartending days, I can’t count how many times I “slept it off” in my car after drinking. My God, man! There are so many alternatives to driving drunk, young or old, experienced or not.

Sorry, because I know so many people whose lives have been damaged by drunk drivers, I have little pity for those who choose not to make arrangements before they start drinking. I can’t believe you are comparing the loss of having property stolen or vandalized to the death of a loved one at the hands of a drunk driver. Property can be replaced. People can’t.

Unfortunately, if you decide to “sleep it off” in your car, you can still be arrested for DUI. Even though I disagree - at least you had the sense to NOT drive - from the cop’s viewpoint, you’re still in control of your vehicle if you have the keys with you.

Yes, I know people who thought they were making a smart decision, only to get busted DUI after beeing woken up by a patrol.

The only way I can see around this is to do something like putting the keys under the hood or something similar.

Whitey, I suppose we may as well agree to disagree. But if you would read my posts, I am making the point that a first offender that drives drunk and gets busted, NOT someone that causes a tragedy, should be given a second chance. Just where did I mention the “death of a loved one”, otherwise known as vehicular homicide, as being in the same class as a lesser crime? Someone driving impaired, being caught, and getting a second chance after an appropriate punishment, is not the same IMHO as an impaired driver that causes an accident, or a repeat offender that refuses to accept responsibility for their actions. As many have said for centuries, life is not black and white, but many shades of grey. I will not comment further, having belabored this to the point of tears, but I respect your opinion.

Understood. Life is filled with grey areas. I’ve lost tolerance in this one area though. Perhaps I should lighten up a little.

I’ll have to wade in on the side of Whitey. IMHO, it isn’t necessary to lighten up. . Severe penalties(without commenting what they are) for first time offenders are necessary to keep others from being first time victims of other first time and habitual offenders. The difference between a nice guy driving impaired for the first time and some one being convicted for negligent homicide is often blind luck. We aren’t looking to just punish the first time offender, we are looking in some way to discourage the next potential first time offender from being a statistic, or worse, making others statistics.

If you knew you were going to be given a second chance, you are more likely to take the first chance; and you’ll keep taking them until you get caught and or kill some one; maybe. We really aren’t talking about first time offenders, we could be talking about habitual offenders who are caught for the first time. We need to live in the real world. Let’s call them what they are…first time caught for DUI.

The streets are full of drivers impaired to some degree and it requires a great deal of close attention and determined effort by the majority of drivers to avoid being involved in an accident caused by poor drivers, occupied drivers and worst of all drunk drivers. And while I can’t guess what improvements can be made to curtail the impaired drivers it has seemed that making those on the road with them aware of their past poor decisions would greatly improve their odds of avoiding danger. I have often seen drivers wandering across the lane markers, driving much too slowly, making dangerous lane changes to take an exit, etc and considered calling their tag number in to 911. On a few occasions I have, in fact, reported such behavior. But if a previous DUI was indicated on the car I would be inclined to quickly alert law enforcement at the first hint of a possible problem. Likewise, a young driver’s parents might get a courtesy call from the police if a complaint were made. And the elderly, who might be capable of driving on urban and suburban streets at speeds under 45 might be allowed to do so with a license that lets the world know they don’t belong on freeways but a little extra consideration on city streets might be appropriate.

Rod, you’ve made excellent arguments for color coded plates for those convicted of a prior DUI. As well as for the elderly.

As long as the color coded plates for DUIs were restricted to first time offenders and came with other strict punishments I can support them. Second time offenders (or more) I think can only be stopped by confiscating the vehicle along with jailing, removing the license of, and stiffly fining the offender. I suppose I would consider returing the liscense with a color coded plate after some period depending on the driver’s past record, but those details could be worked uot.

For the sake of argument…let me counter with; color coded for drivers with less then a years operating experience, convicted felons, sex offenders, drug dealing offenses, too old, too young, habitual speeding offenders, parking ticket non payers…we are running out of colors.

BTW, ask any cop if they felt the first offense persons for speeding, DUI or other they wrote up, were really habitual offenders who have been caught for the first time. There are very seldom any first time offenders. IMHO, offenders, first or otherwise, should loose the car they are driving…permanently. Then start from there on other punitive measures. Loss of a car is one of THE most effective deterrents I have seen for controlling criminal driving behavior. No car, no more offenses. Take their license and many still drive.

We just need 2 colors: one for me, and the other for everyone else. That way the police will know to leave me alone and pay attention to all the crazy drivers on the road.