Index for Insanity, Inc.
Laws Instead of Personal Responsibility
Why is it that the laws/rules that are created in the USA focus on forcing people to do or not do something rather than forcing the person to take responsibility for their actions or lack of actions? I am not talking about the criminal laws, but instead things like the seatbelt laws, helmet laws, etc.
This also included companies like Weyco, which refuses to hire smokers with the reason given is the increased costs of health insurance for smokers. If the health insurance costs more for smokers then why not charge them the difference or just not give them health care coverage and save the company even more money? I think that companies have the right to not hire smokers, but perhaps this would be another option than a strict ban. It does prevent having to police the amount of breaks a smoker takes though.
In the case of seatbelt and helmet laws, why not let the person make the choice, backed by their having to take responsibility for their actions? Change the law so that a person who does not wear their seatbelt or helmet has to take complete responsibility for their injuries should there be an accident, even if they are not at fault. Since it would be hard to determine the difference in the amount and extent of injuries between wearing a seatbelt/helmet or not, just make it easy and say that they are completely responsible. Their own insurance company could also put requirements in that they wear a seatbelt/helmet or their coverage would be reduced or eliminated. It might also mean that such a person would need to have a bond or proof of insurance so that they don't end up costing tax payers money by using the public health facilities.
By doing that each person can decide if they want to pay more or have reduced coverage in order to not wear a seatbelt or use a helmet. Allow people the freedom to choose what they want, without having other to pay for their decision. Consider all the other laws in which this principle could be used.
I just received The CostCo Connection magazine which has a debate topic each month. The topic is "Should breathalyzer devices be in all cars?". The basis for this question is that there are more than 17,000 Americans killed each year by drunken drivers and to "combat" this problem New Mexico is proposing legislation to require breathalyzer devices, called ignition interlocks, to be installed an ALL vehicles bby 2009. Some of the articles below show that it is not limited to one state as it seems stupidity spreads like a virus.
It is sad that our society has gotten to such a point of stupidity of thinking about requiring such an expensive AND DANGEROUS device in all vehicles, including those who do not drink at all. I guess polititians think that people are made of money to be able to afford such things.
I am sure that those who are proposing such silliness have not considered the harm that will, not might, occur from requiring such devices. Criminals will love it since then they know that their victims will NOT be able to quickly start the vehicle and get away. It will also increase smog since people will leave the vehicle running, instead of stopping the engine and being required to prove that you have not had anything to drink. Not to mention all the bad breath because people stop using mouthwash due to the alcohol content and then not being able to start their vehicles.
Instead of targeting those that use alcohol, the supporter of this stupid idea want to cost everyone additional money. Why not license drinkers and demand that they only own vehicles which have such a device? Oh, perhaps that would not work since they would get others to register the vehicle. The device would not work either since a person who has been drinking would be able to get a designated breather to start the vehicle. The real thing is to not let drink driver plead out to lessor charges, especially polititians, and require first time offenders to have such a device installed for at least 5 years or so and take a person's driver's license away if they are convicted a second time. Not to mention treating drunk driving like attempted murder since the person is using a dangerous weapon and could easily cause the death and injury of people due to their actions. No, I don't really think that licensing drinkers would be a good thing, but it would be revenge for trying to license people in other ways and makes a point for people to think about.
Some articles on the topic: House votes for ignition interlocks on every vehicle By: Associated Press.
A simple solution to DUI? By: Luigi Fraschini for Driving Today. New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) is proposing such a law too.
House Votes To Require Ignition Interlocks on Every N.M. Vehicle By Deborah Baker.
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