Thursday, April 16, 2009

Striking out at some easy targets

New Jersey has become the first state in the nation to require drivers 21 and younger to put a decal on their cars noting that a young driver is behind the wheel. Will that improve highway safety? Probably not one lick. Pam Fischer of the New Jersey Division of Highway Safety says the move will help police to determine whether young people are complying with other elements of the new law, which include a rollback of the driving curfew from midnight to 11 p.m. and banning teens from having more than one other young person in their cars. Also, the state is considering decals that would attach with Velcro so they could be removed when an older person is driving the vehicle. Is it just me, or do you think a young person who is violating one or more of the new restrictions just might pull off the decal? And if you have four teens who are going on a double date, and can no longer travel in one car, you're now putting two teenage drivers on the road instead of one. Is that a positive? And what is the state of New Jersey doing about dangerous drivers at the other end of the age spectrum? Not a damn thing. We just had more evidence of the dangers posed by elderly drivers last week, when a retired priest mowed down people outside a Pittsburgh-area church, killing one of them. His explanation? The accelerator pedal had a mind of its own. Isn't it funny that gas pedals seem to stick only on elderly people's cars? But our government leaders will continue to ignore this threat because old people vote. For the most part, kids don't, so they get the shaft.

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Blogger PRIguy said...

If they want to make the roads safer they should ban teens having cell phones in the cars. Teens are the worst when it comes to texting. Notice how they react when they get a text: immediately their undivided focus is on the text and nothing else.

Speaking of distractions while driving, what about people trying to read the sticker on the back of the car in front of them?

And Velcro??? Teens are very, very creative when it comes to getting around the system. We've all been there. Are NJ officials that naive to think that teens won't rip them off or make their own? Just another reason that New Jersey is, well, New Jersey.

April 16, 2009 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

"Just another reason that New Jersey is, well, New Jersey."

I love that :-)

April 16, 2009 at 12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't this the same state where the Governor was in a major crash that left him near death and hospitalized for months? Oh, and wasn't his driver going about 120 mph?

April 16, 2009 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Yeah, same bozo. And at the time of the crash, the genius wasn't wearing a seat belt. That's like telling the attendant that you don't need all strapped in while riding the Phantom's Revenge at Kennywood.

April 16, 2009 at 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG You are too funny Brant.

Incidentally, there was a brief in today's paper about an elderly woman whose "accelerator stuck" as she was leaving Rite-Aid, going through a guard rail and striking another car.

I also witnessed an elderly man in Bethel Park last week whose car magically leapt over his parking spot and down an embankment. It was inches from sailing through a major roadway.

Guess the accelerator stuck. Someone better track down those accelerator fiends.

April 17, 2009 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

And very often, they're nice, new cars that you wouldn't think would have brake problems. Maybe we're just days away from a major recall of huge Buicks.

April 18, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Just to highlight another one of my pet peeves, here's a fresh story out of Philly:

Girl, 6, hit twice by driver reportedly on phone
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police in Philadelphia are looking for a motorist who struck a 6-year-old girl and fled the scene — twice.
Police say the girl was running across a street to get to an ice cream truck when she was hit by a fast-moving car around 7 p.m. Tuesday in Philadelphia’s Olney section.
Witnesses told police the woman driving the car was talking on a cell phone. Minutes later, the witnesses say, the woman briefly returned to look at the scene, then fled again.
The girl is listed in stable condition at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children with head and leg injuries.
Accident investigators are looking for a dark-colored car with front-end damaged.

April 22, 2009 at 11:48 AM  

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