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.