Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Need a light?

This may be a bit minor, but I'm a little annoyed right now by Stupid Traffic Law #4369: Automobilists must keep their lights on during daytime. The minister is planning to make this mandatory. It's stupid for several reasons.
1) It's one more example of the government forcing people to do things one way. Are you gonna get fined for this, just as you can get fined for not being able to identify yourself at any and all times?
2) It'll increase pollution slightly, and needlesly so. In a time when it's EU policy to avoid unnecessary CO2 emission this idea is quite counterproductive.
3) It will only increase wear and tear on the battery and the lights.
4) We already have a g****** ball of fire called the sun providing us with light during the day.

The benefits don't seem to outweight the costs of freedom, reliability, efficiency and durability. The stated reason: this will safe a few lives. Ahah, sure. You know what would safe lives in traffic? To not stop for some Jack S fooling around but roadkill the sucker before he endangers any other people around him. It might knock some sense into people. But what mister Transportation Minister proposes is an unproven method of saving lives as he look at it too remotely and fails to see the details.
1) In countries that made this mandatory (like Finland) where it had an effect, that has to do with the fact that it's dark early and even in broad daylight there are more shadows. Plus the roads are often deserted there unlike Holland, the drivers there are not on the edge of their seats all the time, and less attentive, thus a visual aid like headlights will highlight oncoming traffic for them.
2) Bicyclist and motorcyclists claim that this increases reliance on the headlights rather than looking around personally for traffic coming from left and right and makes drivers less attentive. Since everybody is already using a TomTom, a driver is already pressed for time and attention.
3) Some other countries that made this mandatory report no decrease in traffic fatalities despite the conditions being argueably less favorable than in Holland. Austria sounds like a lot darker with its mountains casting shadows and many more forests, yet they still don't notice a difference.

Like I said, the chance of saving a few lives (which is very unlikely) doesn't weight up to the disadvantages, however small inconveniences they are (which speak volumes about how neglegible the benefits will be). They should shelve this idea, then appoint me Prime Minister so we can start importing a big dose of common sense into the Kingdom of Politics from Real Life Land. Then I'll start scrapping a whole buttload of regulations and stupid laws, both national and international, that completely miss their mark.

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