There’s an easy, uncomplicated and entirely voluntary way we could cut our gas consumption by a third our more - without federal fuel efficiency dictates, pocket-picking gas tax hikes or force or extortion of any kind.
$3 per gallon begins to take the joy out of driving. But even worse are the new “abuser fees” several states have passed into law that crucify drivers over relatively trivial motor vehicle infractions.
“Pre-emptive war” got us into a real mess in Iraq. So maybe we ought to think twice before adopting similar measures when it comes to traffic law. Specifically, when it comes to an idea floated by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to require that all new cars be fitted with an ignition interlock that can detect alcohol in the driver’s system - and shut the car down if it does.
One definition of injustice is grossly disproportionate punishment. You don’t put people into prison for a year because they jay-walked. So what do we make of Virginia’s new “civil remedial fines” that slam ordinary motorists with thousand-dollar fines (payable in “three easy installments”) for relatively minor traffic violations?
Lots of automotive journalists, bloggers and others have expressed enthusiasm for the revived Camaro that GM plans to bring back to market sometime in mid-late 2008. But liking the car and buying the car are two very different things. GM may be in for a rude surprise - and left holding the bag (again).
As the aptly named Cerberus (in Greek mythology, the “demon of the pit,” “hound of Hades” ) picks over the corpse of Chrysler, it’s a good time to reflect on the complete disconnect between auto industry CEO compensation and auto industry CEO performance.
Big Oil gets a lot of grief over high gas prices - but what about Big Government? Motor fuels taxes account for some 22 percent or so of the current per-gallon cost of gasoline in this country. This is arguably both regressive (because it hits people with low and moderate incomes harder than it does the well-heeled) as well as disproportionate - since the amount of tax is very high relative to the actual cost of the item being taxed.
If you drove 91 mph in a 65 mph zone while text messaging on your Blackberry and got into a bad wreck that resulted in major injuries to several people, you’d be looking at a “reckless driving” beef — at the very least — in addition to the broken bones and a trashed car.
Should back-up cameras (designed to prevent kids from being run over by vehicles moving in reverse) be mandatory equipment in every new car sold? If legislation introduced by Sens. Hillary Clinton and John Sununu — the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act — is signed into law, they will be.
Cars are increasingly being used as mobile offices, powder rooms and cafes — activities not generally compatible with focusing on the road ahead. Not surprisingly, accidents due to inattentive or just plain addled driving are on the rise.
President Bush’s call for a 20 percent reduction in gas consumption over the next ten years could be accomplished much sooner — and without having to resort to either elaborate (and expensive) new technologies or a pack of federal mandates.
No one (well, almost no one) approves of wife beating — but since most marriages don’t deteriorate into physical assault, we don’t insist that all husbands be treated as potential wife-beaters the moment they say “I do.”
If you think those “Click it or Ticket” seat belt enforcement drives are all about your safety, give it another think. State and local law enforcement agencies have a huge financial incentive to dole out as many tickets as they possibly can — in order to qualify for the federal grant boodle dangled before their noses like a savory porkchop in front of a hungry blue tick hound.
After Consumer Reports published its top ten new car list recently — a list that contained not one American-brand vehicle — there were some who pointed to this as evidence of an ongoing pattern of anti-American car bias at CR. A bias that continues to poison the waters — and alienate buyers — at the expense of Detroit.