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Road Trip
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Categories: Humor and sarcasm; Experiences and daily life; Human nature

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Massachusetts drivers have a reputation but I saw more misses on a recent road trip outside the state. The bad/inconsiderate driver problem could be solved almost overnight with one simple measure.

For $100, any entity with a legal right to use the road can download video footage of a bad driver. A committee would analyze it and fine guilty parties either $2000 or 2% of their annual income and net worth combined, whichever is greater. Life provides enough aggravation without manufactured drama from jerk drivers.

If the offender is guilty, each submitter would receive the full fine amount minus their non-refundable $100 submission fee, which covers administrative costs. If 15 people report the incident, the bad driver would be paying out a minimum of $30,000! One incident could be so expensive they would never drive again. Any outstanding debt means no driver's license.

Suspended drivers would think again: first infraction is jail-time, 10+ times the fine, loss of license for 10 years. Second is much longer in the slammer, 25+ times the fine, and eternal community work once released, no license ever again. Third time is life in jail and all of their possessions or whatever agreement is suitable.

Illegally operating a piece of machinery - be it a car, train, or nuclear submarine - is as serious as someone pointing a gun at everyone who walks by! Treat it as such because tens of thousands die from cars each year.

Interfering with the lawful passage of any entity on the road would multiply the penalty. That includes causing a vehicle to slow down, swerve, or take evasive maneuvers as well as not stopping for pedestrians, waffling in the high speed lane, or not signaling for turns or lane changes. Those are a minimum of 10 times the fine. Property damage is more serious. Injuries and death are respectively much more serious, after which Hammurabi's Code is dusted off.

Litterbugs have 25+ times the fine so throwing lit cigarette butts out the window would be virtually eliminated. DUI would be an automatic loss of license for life on the first offense, a long time in jail, plus a major fine. There would be no third offense because the second one would be life in jail and everything they own.

Driving while texting? Using a phone? Shaving? Reading and writing while eating and shaving, both hands off the wheel while you make pottery? If the driving is exemplary then bless your soul. Show me. But I doubt it.

Thus, if you want the freedom to use the phone or do anything other than driving while actually driving, then it will most certainly be earned. Because that's exactly what you'll be doing on your driving test. Regardless, you will be held accountable for the consequences of your actions, intentional or not, licensed or not.

Pollution would be reduced, the roads much safer, and bumper-to-bumper traffic would vanish. Mass transit would make a comeback. Where is a cop to bust that bad driver? Likely nowhere but another person with a camera is. Say "Cheese!"

Lobbyists in every industry related to vehicle travel would scream bloody murder.
Called the Masshole Driving Law, it naturally has no chance. Too much money at risk. Insurance companies (and car manufacturers if it was nation- or world-wide) would lose out. Lobbyists in every industry related to vehicle travel would scream bloody murder. Big oil would crucify anyone who threatened their eco-cide trade.

Any fool knows people can't be made responsible. This law only holds people accountable. The small minority of courteous, considerate, and competent drivers would fear little. Roughly 80% of drivers, however, would be kicked off the road immediately and permanently. I doubt they'd take it without a revolt or two.

How much would this cost you in a given day? Maybe start driving like it does, no? Drive with as much respect as the carbon footprint of your vehicle. Electric vehicles might not cause as much ongoing harm as petroleum but they still have a higher carbon footprint until they get older. Don't celebrate yet or act snooty.

About that road trip...there was bargain sterling silver everywhere and a new wholesale client. Saw some dolphins, wild horses, a bear, snakes, turtles, lizards, a muskrat, deer, foreigners (how'd that make the list?). Miles of deserted beaches greeted us. The tolls were ridiculous, the stress was high at times, but travel never comes without a price.

Posted by M: August 13, 2019

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