February 18, 2005
Red Light Retards

Problem 1: Maniacs running red lights cause thousands of injuries and deaths each year.

Problem 2: Law enforcement can't be everywhere at once.

Solution: Red light cameras, which leads to:

Problem 3: An increase in accidents at intersections:

[Nicholas Garber, a teacher at the University of Virginia] studied the best data available, from Fairfax County, and documented what for many is a counterintuitive finding: that the use of cameras at intersections resulted in more injuries. That's because while crashes from the side went down, rear-end accidents went up. His results, consistent with those of some other studies across the country, have poured fresh fuel onto the heated cost-and-benefit debate on the cameras in Virginia.

So essentially we've swapped one set of retards, the ones who think red lights happen to other people, with a different set who think trying to give the car ahead of them a proctology exam is a productive way to get said car to go faster. Listen up you mouth breathers: it doesn't work that way.

I don't want to mount a gatling gun on my car*, I want to turn my back bumper into a hydraulic battering ram. That way when Jonny Rocket and His Razzing Ricer screams up behind me and starts dodging around like his ass is on fire I can just push a button and WHAM!!!, his engine is now a passenger. But, since I'm sure somewhere in the Virginia state law books there's probably some sort of regulation that makes punching a tailgater's car in the face illegal, I guess I'll have to settle for the ol' "hit the brakes and smile" routine.

Yeah, that was me that time you idiot. Did you really think I didn't see you trying to kamikaze your way through traffic? Thought that by getting as close as you could to my bumper you'd intimidate me into moving faster?

I'm your worst freaking nightmare you chimpanzee... I've got a cheap car, low insurance rates, wear my seatbelt, and don't really give a damn. I enjoy stabbing the brakes and watching your car dive forward under its own like a charging rhino that's taken a bullet between the eyes. Because you see if you'd been a civil driver, maybe had just a wee bit of patience, and learned that the two second rule wasn't some sort of basketball drill, it would never have come to that.

Yeah, I'm an asshole. But if you're following close enough that you can't avoid a simple braking maneuver**, I'll be an asshole with a fat insurance check. And I'll be able to drive away. So do us all a favor... spot a signpost up ahead, wait for my car to pass it, and start counting. If you pass it before "two mississippi", slow the hell down. My nerves and your front end will thank you.

* Well ok, no, I do want a gatling gun on my car. To, you know, impress chicks and stuff.

** Calm down people. I don't stab the brakes for fun and profit when it's just normal commuter congestion. Well, most of the time anyway.

Posted by scott at February 18, 2005 11:38 AM

eMail this entry!

You could also be hit by an idiot with no insurance. whip lash injuries to everyone in your car which is usually not you alone but Ellen and Olivia also.

Posted by: Pat on February 18, 2005 12:12 PM

Hmmm - did someone have an 'incident' whilst driving today? I personally agree - but I typically don't do the 'stab the brakes' routine anymore. What I will do is just park next to someone going roughly the same speed as I am and block their stupid ass back there. For miles. Current record is in the 40 mile range (love those two lane highways in Ohio...).

That being said, I typically am nice enough to give a triple-tap on the brakes - lights them up and is the universal get off my ass signal. If they don't follow that (and Amber isn't in the car...), I'm all for stabbing the breaks at a stoplight or something like that. Would serve them right as I'm driving a largish car that'll survive...

Posted by: ron on February 18, 2005 01:03 PM
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