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Of Course It Does

Restricting the top speed on automobiles "seems reasonably sensible" to Matthew Yglesias:

...of course the reason you're not allowed to go super-fast is that it isn't safe. A large proportion of car accidents are related to people driving too quickly. Thus, via Ezra Klein comes Kent Sepkowitz's suggestion that we design cars so as to make it impossible for them to drive over, say, 75 miles per hour.

Clearly spoken as someone woefully ignorant of the cause of accidents, and who probably doesn't drive much, at least outside a city, or in the west, or in mountains, or on curvy roads where rapid passing is occasionally necessary. Or someone to whom time (at least other peoples' time) has no value. I suspect that he agrees with Al Gore that cars are intrinsically evil, and wishes that everyone would ride a train, like those enlightened Europeans. It's similar to the idiocy (and yes, there's no other word for it) of a double nickel speed limit (something to which even Charles Krauthammer, who doesn't drive at all) has fallen prey.

Fortunately, most of his commenters take him to school.


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memomachine wrote:


If you're driving a car that tops out at 75mph on the Garden State Parkway, in NJ, then you're *this* close to dead.

Mike Puckett wrote:

"I am a do-gooder type of liberal (Note:I do respect some liberals but have utter contempt for the former.)! I don't understand the value in you having this capability that I am too stupid or lazy to comprehend or master and therefore you should not have it either!"


Carl Pham wrote:

Makes you wonder how people can be trusted to fly airplanes at 600 MPH, huh?

Karl Hallowell wrote:

Reminds me of the time I was butting heads online with someone from Iceland. To paraphase a little, "I don't need air conditioning, hence nobody should be using air conditioning." Pointing out that certain locations (eg, Florida) are much hotter than Iceland failed to shift his view on this.

sjv wrote:

"those enlightened Europeans"

Yeah, like my German uncle, who bought a car the moment he could afford one. He'll let you have his car when you pry it from his cold, dead fingers.

He moved to the suburbs as soon as he could, too. And this is hardly in imitation of the US...he can't stand the place and refuses to even visit.

Carl Pham wrote:

Don't assume, by the way, that the destructiveness to the habits and lifestyle of the rural population is an entirely unintended consequence of this ubiquituous urban-elite meme. You think they're just ignorant -- but maybe not.

They really, really don't like you -- not you in Florida and LA, Rand, you're just an apostate whom they plan to neutralize with immigrant and union votes -- but those in flyover country. They're perfectly happy if you red-state hicks spend lots more time boring down the road at 55, and a lot less time making adoring blog posts about Sarah Palin or reading up on what ANWR is really like.

Andy Freeman wrote:

> at least outside a city

What's this "outside a city" stuff?

Except during rush hour, the average speed on CA freeways, even in cities, is around 75mph.

It's slightly unnerving when there's tule fog, but ....

Raoul Ortega wrote:

Well, driving along a western interstate at 55 does mean that you don't have to switch stations as often to keep listening to Limbaugh & co. (Although it does mean you spend more time in the gaps between stations, like I-90 between Lookout Pass and St.Regis, Mont.)

FC wrote:

You all know nothing. Yglesias went to Harvard. Bow in obeisance.

PeterH wrote:

I'm convinced that the leading cause of accidents, on the road and elsewhere, is failure to use the brain. Not so much people with low intelligence, as failure to use the intelligence they have.

Stupidity is dangerous.

George Skinner wrote:

Isn't it slightly ironic that the high speeds attainable with modern cars are largely a side effect of fuel efficiency requirements introduced by previous left-leaning administrations?

Josh Reiter wrote:

Hmm. Actually I think I've heard of evidence that suggests the majority of traffic fatalities occur at roughly 45 mph. Why not set the speed limiter to 40 mph to keep everyone safe.

Carl Pham wrote:

You've got it backwards, Josh. Clearly what's needed is a governor to prevent you from going less than 50 MPH. That will fix the problem.

At least, the logic here is no worse than Yglesias'.

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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on September 9, 2008 8:20 AM.

Who Is Overpaid? was the previous entry in this blog.

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