Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Wheels Go 'Round and 'Round

Another great post from the Contemplation of Preponderance blog. I can't drive, so I'm kind of unfamiliar with some of what Kdliz is saying here, but I can understand the overall message well enough. A litany of laws are on the books now, that weren't years earlier, and more are being made all the time. Violating these laws can result in a big fine or jailtime, but hey, they're only for our own good. Our government is doing everything they can to protect us from...why, ourselves. Not driving may have its inconveniences, but damn if I'm not glad at times to opt out of this "rat race", with laws, insurance, gas, cheaply made cars, etc.

I read in the Daily News today that a new law to stop texting while driving is now in the works, due to the deaths of 4 teenage girls because the driver was sending and receiving text messages while driving. Yeah, because the ban on using your cell phone while driving has worked out so well.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Wheels Go 'Round and 'Round

Our grandchildren have been visiting another week with us, and it's been delightful, but I discovered something I hadn't realized. I've been hearing a "recommendation" to use booster seats for children, on talk radio. My mother called and informed me, that in their state, there is a fine, if they don't use these booster seats for children over 4 until they are 80 pounds. She says it's a law and she's a staunch believer in tons of laws and rules, because there are just so many people. I, personally believe, we had to increase laws when the boomers became of age, because there were just too many people not quite willing to give up any control, but that's another blog . . . I want to address this big circle of vehicles, events, and laws.
For years, vehicles were huge. They were big metal tanks. I remember some without seat belts! Then, there became a "fuel shortage" or so we were told, and the Big 3 started reducing the size of our vehicles and the speed limit was reduced, and Texas quit pumping oil. When the speed limit was reduced, that made the most wonderful method for revenue. Reduced limit, increased fines! Simple math. Then some researcher realized smaller cars did not have the same safety features in the event of a collision, so . . . seat belts became an issue. When that didn't catch on right away, emissions became an issue and the big companies were fined and it was "back to the drawing board" again for them. See that word fine, again? This time, the Big 3 provided the revenue. In the midst of all this, however; we here in America ended up with imports and foreign oil. Remember the bumper stickers? That was a little better on the general public, as the foreign countries paid the tarrifs, etc., but the Big 3 began to downsize in lieu of globalization. As the vehicles were cheaply made, and became more disposable and more costly to repair, the price of insurance began to soar, which "required" legislation to make insurance mandatory. Once again, there would be a fine for operating a motor vehicle without insurance, but our insurance premium includes a fee for "uninsured motorists." Now, of course, seat belts are mandatory and so are car seats for infants and toddlers. And since seat belts are mandatory, but don't come in "one size fits all" varying booster seats have become required. Doesn't it make you wonder how so many of us reached adulthood, before all these laws? So we can now attempt to keep up with and abide by all these ever increasing laws, penalties, and road tax. When are we going to start hearing the stats about accidents with the drivers on cell phones? More legislation, more fines! Now that the Big 3 is all but bankrupt, and children are in some sort of car seat until they drive, the vehicles are back to massive but insurance must continue to rise, because these large plastic vehicles are virtually irrepairable upon impact. So, car seats are now an ongoing part of childhood, insurance is more controlling, laws are more confining, and gasoline is now figured into the cost of living for young working families, and the vehicles are huge, gas-guzzlers, once again. It's made the complete circle, and what's crazy? We're all still driving, trying to keep up with the laws and fines and the expenses of this perpetual rat race.
Woe to him that increaseth that which is not his! . . . the Prophets of Holy Scripture

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