Speed Limiters Should Be Compulsory
Updated: Feb 10
Upon being elected mayor of NYC, Mayor Deblasio in January of 2014 announced his plan to curb the ‘epidemic of traffic fatalities’ in NYC, despite the fact that such fatalities have been steadily declining for the past century. (It turns out that car companies do not want their customers to die or kill others-it makes for bad PR and dead customers can’t be repeat customers) Deblasio named the program “Vision Zero’”, after the Swedish program on which it was modeled. The major changes that Vision Zero brought about were decreasing the speed limit on local NYC roads from 30 to 25 MPH and installing 140 cameras that automatically ticket anyone exceeding the new limit by 10 MPH. After the passing of Vision Zero, the NYPD also penalized 78% more speeders than the previous year, and Deblasio made it a misdemeanor punishable by jail time if any driver failed to yield to a pedestrian and subsequently injured them - unless that driver is a government employee, in which case there would be no punishment. The MTA drivers are actually furious that they are not included in this disgusting exemption. (Their perverse fury in itself is newsworthy-maybe I’ll tackle that next)
Since the federal government strong-armed Montana into placing speed limits on their highways decades ago, every single US state has speed limits, and speed cameras are becoming more common in cities across the once-libertarian nation. NYC plans to install over 600 more cameras once they ram a nefarious bill through the state senate that will allow for a massive expansion of the speed camera program. Authoritarian politicians, especially progressive democrats like NYC mayor Deblasio and Bronx congressman Crowley often grandstand about the importance of regulating every facet of traffic (and the rest of our lives) in order to save the lives of drivers, pedestrians, and of course, the children.
My challenge to progressives: I therefore have a challenge to politicians like Deblasio and Crowley and the whole Congressional Caucus on Global Road Safety: Put your money where your mouth is and crack down on speeders. You can do this fairly simply by making a city or state law that requires inhibitors (speed limiters) on all cars. Federal politicians can make it law for the whole country, because we all know that the 10th amendment is no longer relevant in this post-constitutional era that we live in. It would not be unreasonable for congress to make it mandatory that all cars sold in the US have speed limiters on them, set to 85 MPH (the fastest speed limit in the US). This would naturally cripple US automakers, but US politicians made it clear that they don’t care about US businesses when they supported Obama’s 4,400 new crippling EPA laws and the thousands of other job-killing laws.
Technology could take it one step further: Every car made after 2015 seems to have a GPS that knows the speed limit of every road in the US. This technology could probably be integrated with the speed limiter fairly simply. This would ensure that the driver could never exceed the speed limit on any road or highway ever no matter what. What a wonderful world that would be!
Since speed kills, this is a no-brainer. Like most authoritarian programs, it could be phased in over a few years, and it could begin by offering tax credits to any automaker that installs inhibitors on all of its cars (sold in the US) and tax credits for anyone who buys these cars. There is already a federal program and many state programs that ‘encourage’ people to buy hybrid cars. This could be done the exact same way! By 2022, it would become law that any car sold in the US have at least a simple inhibitor set to 85 MPH.
Another law can save even more children: If politicians want to punish those who repeatedly attempt to exceed the speed limited by their Safe-car (I should patent that and sell it to the communists who write these sort of laws-conflicts of interest be damned) they could install technology that alerts the local police precinct and/or the state/federal DOT of the violation, and perhaps even send them a ticket by mail. After a few years, no American would even have the inclination to exceed any posted speed limit. In psychology, this is called ‘conditioning’, and the government has subtly been doing it to us for a while.
The fact that no states in the US have mandated speed limiters and the fact that nobody in the US congress is taking initiative on this clear danger give me serious doubt about our politicians’ advocacy for our safety and the safety of our children. If US politicians don’t act now on the epidemic that supreme leader- I mean mayor Deblasio spoke about on that winter morning in 2014, then they do not sincerely care about all of the children who die from traffic fatalities, and they are perhaps as evil as those ‘crazy libertarians’ who seek a world without government regulation.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views held by The Liberty Block or any of its contributors or members.