The Pink Police State isn’t Pink, it’s Green. And it’s an Insurance Company.


David Ryan

David Ryan is a boat builder and USCG licensed master captain. He is the owner of Sailing Montauk and skipper of Montauk''s charter sailing catamaran MON TIKI You can follow him on Twitter @CaptDavidRyan

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35 Responses

  1. Avatar Will Truman says:

    Enjoyed the post.

    I never really thought that EZPass would be used for tickets. Namely, because they are optional and because they *want* you to use them.The solution for me, simply not using one and stopping at the toll booth or foregoing toll roads altogether (where possible) would deprive them of money (they didn’t institute EZPass for *my* benefit, surely there is a calculation that says “more money this way”).

    Now, you know how some people are talking about how we need a mileage tax in addition to fuel taxes? How we’d have to put a GPS in every car to measure these things? That would be prime pluckins for auto tickets.

    I wouldn’t actually consider that the end of the world. Cars would start becoming equipped with devices that would help people not speed. People would become more insistent on speed limits being raised in places where they are absurdly low.Report

  2. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Though the post in great, this:

    Also, Progressive Insurance doesn’t care how fast you drive, so long as the police don’t catch you.

    is exactly the opposite of the truth.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    One day, and predictably, one of our cats was struck and killed.

    As bad as it is to lose any pet, we’ve lost all of ours to old age and so had time to ease into the idea of not having him/her around anymore. It must be horrible to have it be completely unexpected on top of everything else.Report

    • Avatar David Ryan in reply to Jaybird says:

      About a year ago I was east-bound on the Montauk highway, just west of the village of East Hampton. It’s a mixed residential and commercial area. The posted speed limit is 30 mph. It was late in the afternoon, astronomical twilight by my reckoning. Traffic was heavy in both directions. I was doing about 35 or 40 to keep up.

      In the fading light I saw a shape bolt from the side of the road, and as it crossed into my headlights I could see it was a cat.

      In an instant I fought down the urge to swerve. For a child, yes; for a cat, no. In that same instant I checked my rear view mirror. The closeness of the vehicle behind me ruled out slamming on the brakes.

      Then my body stiffened, every muscle locked to keep my car going straight, and I ran over the cat. I felt the front wheel go up, then the back wheel.

      My first thought was that I should pull over, go back and get the body off the road. Then I thought about the fading light, and much and how fast the traffic was going, and I drove home. I didn’t tell my wife for about a week.

      This Winter that stretch of road is a part of my regular commute. What I notice is that they have a bunch of those radar equipped “this is how fast you’re going” things. It used to be hard to keep up on that stretch of road going 40; cars doing 50 weren’t uncommon. This Winter 35 is usually enough.Report

  4. Avatar M.Z. says:

    Toll time stamps are used presently in ticketing commercial vehicles.  If you have ever been on a bus tour and thought you were cruising pretty good but then can’t figure out the 40 minute stop at the wayside, you’ve now figured it out.Report

  5. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    Speaking of kitties, I have just taken in a New Beast.    Meet ButterscotchReport

  6. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    I keep wondering how we might improve driving safety without throwing the problem into the technological realm.   I see schemes such as magnetic slugs in the highway which could help steering, oh there are a hundred of them out there, each more ridiculous than the one before it.

    There’s an old joke in robotics about the distant future, when aircraft will be fully automated.   But people won’t fly in a fully automatic aircraft:  they’ll want to see a pilot in there.   And he’ll be there at the doorway, some avuncular figure, greeting the passengers.   He’ll close the door to the cockpit but for the most part, he has nothing to do.   He’s trained to handle the plane in override conditions but otherwise it’s corporate policy for him to keep his hands in his lap.

    Alongside these advances in automation, we’ll also see border collies in the cockpit.   If the pilot ever goes to sleep, they’ve been trained to bite him in the nuts.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to BlaiseP says:

      I keep wondering how we might improve driving safety without throwing the problem into the technological realm. 

      Make a driving test hard.  Get rid of the written test, and make people actually learn how to pilot the vehicle in scenarios that are likely to cause accidents, instead of seeing if they can follow (largely arbitrary) rules of the road.

      You’d have at most half as many drivers as you have now, which will lower congestion and the sorts of accidents that are caused by it.  Public transportation use would pick up nicely.

      Everybody wins except people who refuse to actually learn how to effin’ drive.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

        “Poor and Minorities Hardest Hit”

        (but not women this time)Report

        • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Kolohe says:

          Actually, I’d guess that the poor and minorities would do just as well as anybody else.

          The elderly would have trouble, as a class.  People with disabilities would likely have more problems.

          Both of those classes of people already have independence problems, so there’s that counterargument.  But if your goal is to make driving actually safer, getting rid of the 15-20% of the drivers on the road that seriously don’t know how to effin’ drive…Report

      • Avatar DarrenG in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

        But that’s way too much like the (eminently more sensible) way most European countries work, so it’ll never happen here.

        Next you’ll be advocating people have to demonstrate a passing familiarity with firearms safety before owning a gun…Report

    • Avatar North in reply to BlaiseP says:

      I’ve heard a variation of that joke! In the future airplane crews will consist of a charismatic pilot and a doberman. The pilot is there to greet passengers and sit in the cockpit, the doberman is there to bite the pilot if he tries to touch the controls.Report

  7. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    I always laugh when I see people talking about how their run tracker monitors step count, tracks position via GPS, wirelessly uploads the whole thing through a dedicated cell phone connection.

    If the government did something like that everyone would shit themselves, and here’s these guys paying to have it done to them.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

      It’s not *THAT* crazy.

      I mean, there are people out there who pay for massages who would rankle at the thought of you walking up to them, throwing them on a table, and then touching their back for 10 minutes.

      And rightly so.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

        Except that the conversation in re the government is that nobody would ever find it enjoyable and nobody should.  It’s not presented as “yeah this might be a good idea if it were voluntary”, it’s presented as “OMG ORWELLIAN NIGHTMARE!!”Report