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Old 05-04-2018, 11:00 AM
 
Location: New York Area
13,402 posts, read 5,207,027 times
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The invention of the automobile and the creation of modern high-speed highways were a great stimulus to the nation's economy, from enhanced productivity and the connection of remote markets to each other. Far less time was wasted with the uncertainty of horse, bicycle or train transportation. I would argue that the low-inflation boom of the 1950's and 1960's largely resulted from making the automobile truly useful. Ditto air travel.

LOW SPEED LIMITS

The environmental movement, unofficially kicked off with Earth Day in April 1970 marked a certain guilt that many had with our affluence. There were gains, so to speak but did we deserve them and/or were they worth the cost?

What followed was the National Maximum Speed Limit ("NMSL") of 55 mph (first 50 as imposed by Nixon). The initial impetus for that was the "energy crisis," also self-inflicted but the topic for another thread. Parenthetically Nixon had urged a low speed limit for some time before his "excuse" arrived in the form of the Arab Oil Embargo. The NMSL was supposed to be temporary but didn't end until December 1995. I suspect the real motive was a "hair-shirt" mentality; that self-abnegation may feel good for the soul and for the conscience if not for the economy.

CELL PHONE USE RESTRICTIONS

Back in the 1950's there were "car phones" but they were hard to get and expensive. A story, which may be apocryphal, has Lyndon Johnson envying Sam Rayburn's (Speaker of the House) having a car phone, and pined for the day when he could call Mr. Rayburn from a car phone, when he could get one. Finally that day arrived and he made the call to Mr. Rayburn. Mr. Rayburn answered and said "hold on a minute, I'm on the other phone."

Few care to remember the days of the use of payphones when out of the house, or having to ask a business or personal host to "borrow" the phone, incurring message unit or toll charges. Cell phones became ubiquitous by the mid-1990's and smart phones, in the form of Blackberries, not too long after. The gains in productivity were immense. People could actually work while traveling. They could make or return business calls, set up meetings, and let people know when they were running behind schedule. This, plus other aspects of the high-tech revolution has caused a 1950's and 1960's like boom, and also without inflation. Times, except for the 2008-9 sharp recession have been good.

America's instinct for Puritanical self-doubt and guilt led to a similar "hair-shirt" mentality, followed first by laws against use of hand-held cell phones, which made and make little sense, and then more sensible laws against texting behind the wheel. But the law makes no distinction between texting, hand-held use of a cell phone for talking or changing a music selection, which is much like changing a radio station. Nobody ever discussed restricting car radios back in the day. Maybe people had more cajones then and wouldn't accept a nanny state.

CONCLUSION

Sensible safety laws are fine. But they should be tailored to allow activities that are safe, and not be used for either "feel-good" expiation of guilt, or to fill localities' coffers.
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Old 05-05-2018, 09:07 AM
 
6,178 posts, read 1,500,623 times
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well, look at the traffic laws, the goal is not actually to stop or reduce the offenses, its mainly about a source of revenue. Unfortunately the people have sat idle and allowed Govt to do things like this.

Another good example is DUIs, we have numerous people getting DUIs every weekend around here, its extremely dangerous to drink and then drive, but even though people keep doing it time and time again, there is never any suggestion to target access or the alcohol companies...but when people on opioids start causing wrecks and endangering other drivers, ACCESS to these drugs is one of the first things they try to get it under control, its kind of like some things get a pass and others do not.(that probably has something to do with how much tax money they bring in, but thats another thread)
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Old 05-05-2018, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Cape Cod
9,796 posts, read 7,106,581 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstevens62 View Post
well, look at the traffic laws, the goal is not actually to stop or reduce the offenses, its mainly about a source of revenue. Unfortunately the people have sat idle and allowed Govt to do things like this.

Another good example is DUIs, we have numerous people getting DUIs every weekend around here, its extremely dangerous to drink and then drive, but even though people keep doing it time and time again, there is never any suggestion to target access or the alcohol companies...but when people on opioids start causing wrecks and endangering other drivers, ACCESS to these drugs is one of the first things they try to get it under control, its kind of like some things get a pass and others do not.(that probably has something to do with how much tax money they bring in, but thats another thread)


Drinking and Driving has been a problem for as long as there have been cars. We all know it is wrong and that doing so can kill yet people test their luck every weekend.

It is interesting that you say that there are never any suggestions to target alcohol companies to help prevent wrecks. It might actually come down to money and the taxes to be made from the sale of alcohol OR it might be that people should flat out know their limits and not endanger themselves or others.

We could compare this to the anti gun debate that is sweeping the country. Guns alone like a 6 pack of beer do not cause deaths so why are companies that produce guns under fire and why are groups like the NRA that does nothing but promote the safe use of guns the enemy?

It doesn't make sense especially when more people will be killed this weekend by alcohol than by guns.


As for laws like speed limits we need them because we have far too many people that will drive and do other things like talk on their cell phones, crack open a beer, or load up their gun.

The reason we have any laws at all is because people are incapable of policing themselves and being responsible.
Today I saw a young woman standing in a car and hanging out the sunroof as the driver drove down the road hitting speeds of 40. Common sense and safety concerns for ones own health should limit that type of action to cruising down the Vegas strip but not for this dingbat. I was tempted to follow them to see how long it would take for a cop to pull them over but I didn't and off they went down the road.

If we are going to have laws to limit speed then we also need fines to act as a deterrent.

I don't mind my tax dollars going to the Police to stop reckless activities by idiots that should know better but don't and when they are caught I say make them pay up because they are putting us all at risk.
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Old 05-05-2018, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
18,888 posts, read 8,867,123 times
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In the past decade I've been almost in about a dozen accidents. In every one of those 12 almost accidents, there were two things true -- it was a woman driving AND they were talking on a cell phone or were texting.
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:54 AM
 
6,178 posts, read 1,500,623 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape Cod Todd View Post

It is interesting that you say that there are never any suggestions to target alcohol companies to help prevent wrecks. It might actually come down to money and the taxes to be made from the sale of alcohol OR it might be that people should flat out know their limits and not endanger themselves or others.
but when its opioid prescription drugs that led to someone crashing their car, or killing someone in the process, the first thing they do is target ACCESS to the substance, When doctors were handing out opioid scripts left and right, they were making HUGE money, addicts were willing to pay 100X the retail price just to obtain these drugs...but Govt still targeted the pharma companies and access to the drugs...

So why would one dangerous product be given a pass, when another is regulated to the point where its impossible to get? If the concern was money, they would have slapped a sin tax on prescription opioids and let the money start rolling in, they could have made MUCH more off these drugs than alcohol.

In regards to opioids too, Govt did not feel people could police themselves and know their limits, heck they didnt even trust doctors anymore!
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Old 05-06-2018, 02:46 PM
 
5,310 posts, read 6,610,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
What followed was the National Maximum Speed Limit ("NMSL") of 55 mph (first 50 as imposed by Nixon). The initial impetus for that was the "energy crisis," also self-inflicted but the topic for another thread. Parenthetically Nixon had urged a low speed limit for some time before his "excuse" arrived in the form of the Arab Oil Embargo. The NMSL was supposed to be temporary but didn't end until December 1995. I suspect the real motive was a "hair-shirt" mentality; that self-abnegation may feel good for the soul and for the conscience if not for the economy.
The NMSL was only supposed to last 1 year back in 1974. However, the profit windfall from insurance companies and speeding tickets by having artificially low speed limits meant the American driver was going to get hosed for years to come. Did you also notice many states did not return to pre-55 speed limits when the NMSL was finally abolished?

Last edited by ram2; 05-06-2018 at 02:58 PM..
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Old 05-06-2018, 02:55 PM
 
5,310 posts, read 6,610,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape Cod Todd View Post
As for laws like speed limits we need them because we have far too many people that will drive and do other things like talk on their cell phones, crack open a beer, or load up their gun.
Years ago, it was legal to crack open a beer while driving in some states. Texas was one of them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cape Cod Todd View Post
The reason we have any laws at all is because people are incapable of policing themselves and being responsible.
Really? People are too stupid to police themselves? Most people are not crashing their cars driving to and from work every day, despite ignoring underposted speed limits in most states.

Until the revenue incentive is removed from traffic tickets, law enforcement will continue to focus on making money instead of going after real crime - like all those illegal guns in the hands of criminals.

Last edited by toosie; 05-06-2018 at 03:03 PM.. Reason: Fixed quote wraps
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Old 05-07-2018, 09:26 PM
 
Location: New York Area
13,402 posts, read 5,207,027 times
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Let's get some comment on my premise that some of these laws are based, not on real problems but on guilt that we're an affluent, "let the good times roll" type of society. Some people like to walk around with a puss on their face, feeling very grave about world problems.
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Old 05-08-2018, 12:51 PM
 
560 posts, read 306,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
Let's get some comment on my premise that some of these laws are based, not on real problems but on guilt that we're an affluent, "let the good times roll" type of society. Some people like to walk around with a puss on their face, feeling very grave about world problems.


You won't get a lot of comments because what you've done is construct a strawman and are asking us to help you knock it down.


I do not agree that the 55 mph speed limit was the result of
"I suspect the real motive was a "hair-shirt" mentality; that self-abnegation may feel good for the soul and for the conscience if not for the economy."
I'm an old guy and was there during that period. Your assertion is wrong, especially considering the other restrictions put in place at the time.


It's the same with anti cellphone while driving laws. They're being put in place due to lawmakers trying to eliminate a pointless cause of deaths.


I have never met a single person who favored the 55 mph speed limit as some sort of way to assuage their guilt over our affluence or similar ideas. I have never meet anyone who wanted to self-flagellate over their wealth shown by the convenience of using cellphones while driving. Have you?


And I'm real sure that using cellphones while driving has no relationship with increased productivity in the USA. Roll your windows down and listen to what people are talking about while driving.
It's almost all just social yakking. A business call is like, I'm late, let's meet at 10:00, I'll send you that report after lunch, and takes a minute or less. If you'll look around at the other drivers, they're just running their mouths on and on.


If you'll look at any chart of GDP per capita, or per hour worked, you'll see the GDP growth has been the same as before cellphones, or even flat, for the major economies https://www.bls.gov/ilc/intl_gdp_cap...ur.htm#chart03


Do you have any data to support your assertion?
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:23 AM
 
Location: New York Area
13,402 posts, read 5,207,027 times
Reputation: 10756
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
I do not agree that the 55 mph speed limit was the result of
"I suspect the real motive was a "hair-shirt" mentality; that self-abnegation may feel good for the soul and for the conscience if not for the economy."
I'm an old guy and was there during that period. Your assertion is wrong, especially considering the other restrictions put in place at the time.
First of all please write in complete sentences.

The other restrictions were short-lived. Year-round daylight savings time was abolished in February or March 1974. Odd-even gasoline purchase restrictions and "gas-less Sunday" were ended in late March or early April 1974.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
It's the same with anti cellphone while driving laws. They're being put in place due to lawmakers trying to eliminate a pointless cause of deaths.
That was of course the stated rationale. I don't believe it for a minute.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
I have never met a single person who favored the 55 mph speed limit as some sort of way to assuage their guilt over our affluence or similar ideas. I have never meet anyone who wanted to self-flagellate over their wealth shown by the convenience of using cellphones while driving. Have you?
That was of course not the stated rationale. [/quote]When you see bike lanes sprouting on New York City avenues that are choked by cars as it is, under "progressive" mayor Bill DiBlasio one can see the sector from which hostility to cars emerges. Ditto the Paris Climate Accords.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thulsa View Post
And I'm real sure that using cellphones while driving has no relationship with increased productivity in the USA. Roll your windows down and listen to what people are talking about while driving.
It's almost all just social yakking. A business call is like, I'm late, let's meet at 10:00, I'll send you that report after lunch, and takes a minute or less. If you'll look around at the other drivers, they're just running their mouths on and on.
Did you just make that up? I'm an attorney. Lots of my clients call me from my cell. Or else why is a cell number part of almost every iPhone "contact" I have?


If you'll look at any chart of GDP per capita, or per hour worked, you'll see the GDP growth has been the same as before cellphones, or even flat, for the major economies https://www.bls.gov/ilc/intl_gdp_cap...ur.htm#chart03


Do you have any data to support your assertion?[/quote]
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