Driver … optional, is the goal of a new law in California. Written with the help of Google, Inc., a new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown, approves a self-driving prototype for use on California highways. Google has modified a Toyota Prius by adding video cameras, laser equipment, radar sensors, and a failsafe mechanism that allows the driver to assume control by grabbing the steering wheel or hitting the brakes.
It is believed that, in a few years, driverless cars will make California highways safer and reduce accidents due to driver inattention dramatically. When he signed the new law, Governor Brown said, “Anybody who gets into a car and finds the car driving itself is going to be skittish at first, but they will get over it.” His words got me thinking.
DWI is an offense that can cost one their privilege to drive. A drunk has demonstrated atrocious judgment and as a driver has proven he or she cannot be trusted to make good decisions regarding personal safety or that of the public. Drunks have proven that they are more interested in the immediate “party” than in the long-term consequences they may cause. Drunks need driverless cars; they will be safer.
If a driver allows the car to run out of gas, he will never reach his destination and his ability and judgment will be seriously questioned. Such a driver needs, not only a driverless car, but one that can make rational decisions for him. No driver can blame any other driver if his vehicle runs out of fuel. After all, he’s the current driver.
Speeding is a serious offense for a driver. Speeding shows a disregard for public and personal safety. Speeding, when repeated, will cost a driver financially and perhaps even his license. A speeder is an unsafe driver and should be taken off the road.
One need not be an engineer to be a driver. Fortunately, driver skills do not include manufacturing or re-manufacturing the vehicle in order to travel to a destination. If they did, most of us would be walking.
The Federal Government considers itself America’s driver. As driver, it gives us its full attention and declares that we could not get where we want to go without it, but government’s driving record is suspect, at best.
Drunk with power, Government does not consider the pain and long-term consequences of its decisions. Invariably, laws that are well-intended have consequences that were not anticipated. The euphoria of the moment in “winning” or “passing” legislation overrides the seriousness of the consequences. Case in point? Nancy Pelosi, “…we have to pass the Bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Spoken like an out-of-control party-girl, DWI and deserving to lose the license to drive.
As driver of the economy, government has incurred debt that is so high that if it was to be paid at the rate of $1.00 per second, it would take over 500,000 years to pay it off…and that is only if it incurred no more debt from this moment. America has run out money, out of gas, and blaming a predecessor doesn’t solve the problem and won’t get us to our destination.
Under the current “driver,” the debt has increased by over $64,000 per taxpayer. Warnings of impending doom if spending isn’t slowed have gone completely unheeded. A driver who speeds and does it despite warnings can expect to lose his license. ‘Nuff said!
Being a driver does not entail designing and building a personal car. Driving and engineering are distinctly different. Government is now mandating what size soda we purchase, restricting the class fundraiser from using the traditional chocolate bar, pitting one American against another based on “class” in order to gain or retain power, killing babies at a rate unheard of in human history, and redefining the term “family.” Americans don’t need a bureaucrat to drive (read that, MEDDLE) our personal decisions for us.
A Driverless America
What Washington needs is to test-drive a driverless America; an America where government’s hands are not on the steering wheel, its feet are not on the pedals, its vision, attention, and “skill” is limited or totally removed. Government is unnecessary for the successful navigation of life for most Americans. We want to be our own driver.
I know that a driverless America is a scary proposition for liberals, bureaucrats, and Washington-addicts. But, to paraphrase Governor Brown, “Anybody who sees American freedom and ingenuity and finds out government has not created it is going to be skittish at first, but they will get over it.”
Until then, we will have to settle for being the designated driver!!
Duane Miller is COO of The Proud Americans.