Monday, April 12, 2010

What Happens With Weak Government

From a Wall Street Journal editorial: via News from 1930:
"In 1931, about 34,000 people will be killed and 966,000 injured in car accidents, slightly more than 1930. A large percentage of this heavy toll is preventable; last year, 84% of deaths and 67% of injuries were caused by illegal driving. It's therefore strange that this waste of human life goes on year after year with little public concern. Only 13 of 48 states require driving tests for licenses; traffic law enforcement is lax. "Reckless, careless, or drunken driving is a crime and should be treated as such in the courts.""
There were less than 38,000 people killed  last year, although our population is more than twice that of 1930 and the number of cars and miles driven are much higher.  Why the difference? Governmental regulation, both of drivers and of cars, and the provision of safer highways.  In the stories on Justice Stevens, there's citations of his dissent in a recent case, noting that if his fellow justices had learned to drive on narrow 2-lane roads on which you had to make split-second judgments over whether or not it was safe to pass a slowpoke, they might have been less critical of the driving of the main figure in the case they were deciding. I learned and drove on such highways and I would agree. 

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