Ranting and raving and carrying on

Just a few random thoughts about random stuff. Warning - may contain profanity

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Location: Toronto-ish, Ontario, Canada

Just a guy... Bit of a geek, but who isn't these days?

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Saturday driver?

I rented a car this weekend. Usually I get the cheapest car on the lot, but they talked me into upgrading to a VW Jetta for a few bucks more a day. It's a pretty nice vehicle, with a decent amount of power and good handling. The interior seems to be well-thought-out, too - the seats adjust up, down, front, back - everything but a built-in sextoy to keep the passenger happy and quiet.

Anyway, even though I'm 35, I only have my "G2" license (basically, full driver but probationary) - I've only been driving for about a year. As a result, I still have this silly idea that I should follow the rules of the road, such as coming to a full stop at a stop sign, or actually obeying the speed limits (more or less). There are some people out there who get really pissed off if you're "only" going 70 in a 60 zone. These people really need to chill.

A couple of things I always try to remember when driving are (1) the faster you're going, the more an abrupt stop (such as a crash) will hurt, and (2) nobody plans to have an accident - that's why they're called "accidents" instead of "on-purposes". People somehow assume that, since they've been driving for 10 or 20 or 30 years, they are magically "blessed" and nothing unexpected will happen to them. Unfortunately, the cemetery is full of those people, and the passengers in their cars.

The police, I'm sure, would love to have a tighter control on the roads - as near as I can tell, anything up to 120 or so is okay in an area posted as 100, which is pretty bizarre. I mean, if it was okay for you to go 120, then why wouldn't we post it as 120? Anyway, as I said, the cops want to control things better, if only for reasons of public safety (as discussed above), but they're pretty much overworked and understaffed as it is. If you're the only cop patrolling, say, a 100 km stretch of highway, then you could probably just spend your whole day writing tickets - as soon as one car was ticketed and sent on its way you'd pull another one over. This is a pretty irrational thing.

The government, of course, has had a partial solution in the past - photo radar. This has good and bad points about it - it's more punishment and less deterrent, as far as I'm concerned. It can certainly be seen as a form of "tax-grab" - they can ticket more than 100 cars an hour, easily. But I read today in the paper that a bunch of those tickets may be thrown out because the photo was not printed with a human-readable date-time code, so the "accused" (AKA the "guilty bastard" according to some people I know) could not properly defend himself. Aww, poor baby - did the mean computer pick on you? Wah-fucking-wah.

It seems to me that we now have the means to put a computer in a car that tracks the speed, and if the speed exceeds 110 km/h for more than 1 minute, your car snitches on you. Heh, that would be funny. Actually, I'm surprised the car rental agencies haven't developed an "after-market" one of these - you take the rental car back on Monday and they tell you that you have to pay an extra $100 speed-demon fee. Now THAT would be hilarious.

Okay, I'm done for now.