- American drivers should feel confident to easily maintain control of their vehicles: This is the point of Driver's Education. It's a requirement, remember? And since driving is a privilege and not a right, it should be the right of the government to ensure that those who are privileged to drive are confident before entering public motorways. Because the last thing anyone wants is a broken training and testing system where the blind and stupid and inexperienced are hardly held accountable for displaying inferior driving skills, right?
- Confident… in the event of an emergency: Sweden requires its drivers to pass an emergency maneuver test, and in some cases, on ice. That isn't always practical in the United States, especially in high commuter areas like Southern California, but it provides an interesting juxtaposition to our own driver's training where in many states, new drivers aren't even required to parallel park or drive on a freeway.
- By updating our safety standards…: This should read "By dumbing down our safety standards…," which reminds me of my time in the Army. Every Friday, before being let loose for the weekend, we had to stand in formation so the Company Commander could give us a "safety brief." The briefs were usually vulgar and a forced statement of the obvious: Don't do drugs; have a designated driver; if you don't have a designated driver, here is my phone number and the number to a local taxi; don't beat your wife, the dogs, or the kids; use protection, blah blah blah." My point is this—Commander had to tell us to not do the very obvious things we knew not to do just so it wasn't his fault when we did those dumb things. And once someone did something new and dumb, it got added to the "don't do that" list. Thus, government here is reacting with a stiffened fist to a very simple problem.
- ...Brakes will work…: BTW, just wanted to point out that most countries in the European Economic Area require maintenance and care as part of the theoretical and practical application of driver's education. Allow me to state the obvious: If you properly maintain your brakes, including pads and rotors and fluids, your brakes will work.
- …Brakes will work even if the gas pedal is stuck down (while trying to brake): OK, so now we finally get to the real problem here. Why is the gas pedal depressed while braking? Are driving Americans embracing high heels at an alarming rate? Flip flops getting wedged beneath the pedal? Or is it because, in my observances, at least, more lazy and/or inexperienced drivers are unaware that they are left-foot braking? You know what I'm talking about. I see them every day, cruising at 75 mph in the fast lane and the brake lights pumped for minutes at a time. And in the instance that the sticky pedal isn't attributed to any of the above? MAINTENANCE! MAINTENANCE! MAINTENANCE! So, basically, the DOT wants ALL cars to have this new "brake throttle override" because some people are a) inexperience, b) lazy, c) or just plain stupid.
Opinion: Government Proposes to Punish Everyone in Wake of Idiotic Unintended Acceleration Farce
The Department of Transportation today announced that it has proposed new legislation to require automakers to install a "brake-throttle override" for unintended acceleration. Which is stupider than the stupidest stupid you could ever stupidly imagine. "America's drivers should feel confident that anytime they get behind the wheel they can easily maintain control of their vehicles—especially in the event of an emergency," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "By updating our safety standards, we're helping give drivers peace of mind that their brakes will work even if the gas pedal is stuck down while the driver is trying to brake." There are a number of things wrong with this statement and this idea, so let's start at the beginning:
The first images of the Fiat Viaggio, China's version of the Dodge Dart, have been teased almost two weeks...