LETTER: Self-driving cars can solve safety and climate problems
When I was young, I had a car. Do again. Then we paid 38 cents a gallon and didn’t think about air pollution at all. Speed limits were relatively low, but we didn’t pay much attention to them anyway. Two reasons for this: the fines were not very high and safety was not the important issue of our time (you may remember that we didn’t even have seat belts!)
The roads were designed to be as safe as the traffic engineers could make them, but somehow the idea crept into the system that the engineers were being a bit too careful. One official thought 10 kilometers per hour over the speed limit wouldn’t hurt, so police patrols would be “tolerant” of the limit. So what’s the limit now? Well, there isn’t! From time to time, the police will declare a “no tolerance” policy. And even then, many motorists will take this as a signal that 130 km/h is OK as long as it is now the limit. Which is of course not the case! Remember, there is no limit. (Unless of course if you drive too fast, but according to whom?)
So now you’re burning a lot more fuel, and you’re automatically encouraging other careless drivers to do the same, and you’re wasting the fuel that environmentalists are trying to convince us to save before you run out of fuel and choke everyone nearby with additional pollution being blown into the air. You say “there should be a law”? There are. (somewhere).
We are not far from autonomous vehicles. And when we get there, all vehicles will have to drive at the same speed. It could be called “the speed limit” and it will save us money and lives and reduce pollution dramatically. If we follow the rules. The law!
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