Not so long ago, the family automobile was used for convenience and pleasure. On weekday mornings, Dad could sleep in a little longer, then drive to work at a leisurely pace, waving to neighbors and friends along the way. On Sunday afternoons, many families would pile into the car for a relaxing jaunt through the neighboring countryside, to the beach or to visit grandparents.
Today, however, the hectic pace of modern life has spoiled the pleasure once found in the operation of an automobile. Our vehicles have become merely a means to travel faster, so we can get more accomplished within a shorter period of time. If good manners and concern for one’s neighbor must be sacrificed at the altars of speed and pursuit of the almighty dollar, who cares? It seems that everyone is on the same crazy merry-go-round.
In the opinion of the writer, these five laws, if enacted, might restore a semblance of sanity to modern lifestyles, and increase safety on our roads, streets and highways:
1. Drivers caught holding a hot drink, food, a lighted cigarette, a pet, or anything else that will cause a distraction if dropped, will receive a ticket and be sentenced to a full week of community service. Drivers are in control of a potentially lethal weapon and need both hands on the wheel at all times. Would you want your loved one to be in the path of a driver who suddenly dropped a cup of scalding-hot coffee in his or her lap?
2. There will be no shrubs, hedges or fences taller than 3 feet situated at intersections or at the end of driveways. Thoughtless home-owners, gardeners and even sometimes city planners fail to consider the plight of the driver who must inch into the intersection or street, and possible danger, in order to see if there is any oncoming traffic.
3. Any driver found to have even the slightest amount of alcohol or an illegal drug in his or her system would lose their license for a minimum of 6 months. These substances affect different people in different ways. No amount should be considered safe when the lives and safety of other people could be jeopardized.
4. When stopped at an intersection, a driver must look all ways and count to 10 before he takes his turn and proceeds. Any driver who cuts off another will be subject to hefty fine, and required to attend a series of anger management classes. Some drivers turn into aggressive hoodlums when they get behind the wheel, especially those driving expensive cars or power vehicles.
5. Car dealers will be heavily fined for selling vehicles that can go faster than 5 miles an hour over the allowable highway speed limit in the purchaser’s state or province. For a second offence, the dealer will lose his licence to sell any vehicles. If a driver needs to go faster than that, he or she should call for an ambulance, fire truck, or police car. These public service vehicles would be exempt from the law.
If these laws were enacted, the number of accidents would be drastically reduced, drivers blood pressures would be lower, and the stress level of the population in general would lessen. The excessive speed and compulsive driving behaviors of the members of contemporary society have reached unhealthy and dangerous levels. It’s time we all relaxed, so that we can enjoy the use of our vehicles and roadways in safety once again.