The top story in the Dec. 5, 2010 New York Times had a headline that screamed, "Mounting Debts by States Stoke Fears of Crisis." This is, without a doubt, true, and it was only a matter of time until people began to understand this. In fact, I wonder why it was front-page news. The states are all in trouble, to varying degrees, and instead of standing about lamenting -- Eeyoring, if you will -- let's get our brains going and make some suggestions. Here's one.
I go the speed limit. I'm beginning to think it's only me, but I hope not. I go the speed limit for several reasons.
- Somebody who knows a whole lot more about cars and aerodynamics than I set the speed limit for my benefit and yours. (It only works if I use it. You, too, buster. Shame on you... passing me on the right!)
- The more I adhere to speed limits, the better it is for the environment. Gunning a car uses excess fuel and creates more poisoning for our atmosphere.
- They're the law.
Even though we all know that there aren't enough traffic personnel to stop every speed demon on the roads, there is a simple, effective and lucrative solution: install ticketing cameras on roads of all kinds.
What if the federal government were to create a speeding camera program to fund the set-up of the systems? It will work best if it's proportional to state populations.
Cameras are set to a certain number of miles per hour above the posted speed limit. They snap license plate photos of speeders, cross-check to the license plate owner, and computer-generate a speeding ticket.
This program will have several benefits:
- There will be fewer, and certainly less severe, car accidents because people will be going slower and obeying the law.
- There will be a gentler impact on the environment because people won't be gunning around all the time.
- There will be money pouring into state coffers all over our beautiful country because people will be unable to renew car registrations or driver's licenses with outstanding tickets.
- There might even be reduction of state deficits and a dearth of hang-wringing at the state level.
Oh, I can hear it now: "But we're Americans! We want our freedoms!" Sorry to be short about it, but I've heard enough. It's time we stopped acting like adolescents and grow up. Life costs money. Running a state and country cost money. Taking care of one another and our planet have a cost, too.
Driving the speed limit or paying the consequences is one of those costs.
It won't bother me. I'm the one going the speed limit.
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