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So much for Libertarianism...

Driving in New York state years ago, I saw signs on the Thruway that demanded motorists to turn on headlights when their windshield wipers were on. Makes sense, I thought, but it's yet one more government intrusion into personal liberty. I was a Libertarian for a while in college, you see.

This morning while driving to work, I cursed the fools who didn't have their headlights on as the rain fell and the cars and trucks kicked up obscuring mist from the roadway.

In more weather news: Wolf informs me that southern Indiana and central Kentucky are rated as "high risk" for severe weather today, possibly including tornados; this rarely happens even in summer months there. That storm system is moving north as a big wind and rain system, and all the Great Lakes (except maybe Ontario) have either gale or storm warnings up. Meanwhile, the first winter storm (a completely different storm) is coming through Michigan's Upper Peninsula; the area just to the west of Marquette may get a foot of snow tonight and tomorrow. The weather is very eventful today.

Current Weather: Raining, 46°F/8°C



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 15th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC)
It's a funny thing how we tend to perceive regulations and even recommendations as intrusions, and then later on realize just how rational they are. The headlights on thing is a good example. Of course, it shouldn't be necessary to require that by law, it should be just common sense. But... many people seem to have no common sense.

Like states where they removed the speed limits. Supposedly people would use common sense, but they don't. I am unwilling to drive there at all.
Nov. 15th, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
I like to think I would wear seat belts even if there were no seat belt laws. Since I never drove before there were laws, I never got used to not wearing them.

I also wish daytime running lights were more common here. When I go on trips I'll nearly always turn the headlights on because I think it's safer. I believe in Canada it's required to have daytime running lights, at least in the prairie provinces.

But I'm a boy scout, or so I'm told. :-)
Nov. 15th, 2005 10:21 pm (UTC)
I drove before there even were seatbelts in the typical car. I still always put mine on, without hesitation. My mother, on the other hand, refused to wear hers. I would make her if I was driving, but I know otherwise she never did. Her reason was just that "she didn't like it."

The headlights on thing is an excellent example. Back in the 70s there was a safety campaign called "light up and live" or something like that. No, it had nothing to do with tobacco. It was supposed to remind you to turn your headlights on, even in the daytime when it was bright and sunny. I do it sometimes, particularly when driving on high speed interstates, but not for local driving unless it is cloudy. My mate always, without exception, drives with headlights on.

But our observation since about the mid-1980s, is that people no longer remember or "get" this. They flash their lights at you to let you know that you "forgot" to turn yours off. Sometimes pedestrians will even yell at you to tell you to turn them off.

And don't get me started on the other end of the scale. This may not be an issue for city/suburban driving, but out here in the country we have a fair number of people who seem to have no night vision. So they drive with their bright lights on 100% of the time at night, and do not dim them for oncoming drivers. That one really infuriates me. It's like they don't get it at all.
Nov. 15th, 2005 10:35 pm (UTC)
Bright headlights at night is something that bothers me too. I wonder if headlights have just gotten brighter -- it does seem like there's more variety in brightness these days -- or if they actually are driving with their brights on, and have forgotten that they should be dimmed when there's another driver on the road. Overall, it seems that certain things are no longer being taught in drivers education classes, and some of these things are what make good drivers, as opposed to merely competent ones.
Nov. 16th, 2005 01:02 am (UTC)
Some have gotten much brighter than they should be, that's true. The ones with a blue-white color to them are some kind of vapor lamp, like mercury or something, and they started appearing five or six years ago. Even on low beams, these are bad for oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, what standards there are for these things seem to be pretty loose, and I remember reading that there were starting to be a lot of serious complaints about them but they were not in violation of any standard. Interestingly, though, more recent cars seem to have less of this, so perhaps the manufacturers backed off when threatened with liability suits or something.

However, it is also true that many drivers are simply driving with their brights on all the time. I have proven this by repeatedly flashing mine at them until finally they get the message and dim, probably wondering what the problem was. I don't know if they drive with sunglasses on at night or what, but evidently they feel a need to have those glaring lights illuminate half the countryside. These are probably the same people who leave four or five "security" lights on around their houses all night, causing so much light pollution that I can no longer see the milky way.
Nov. 16th, 2005 12:53 am (UTC)
My tracker has the autolights...come on when I start up. And ever since the automatic belts saved my life I belt up everytime. But why does every passenger seatbelt have to tighten instead of being loose 'till needed.

Nov. 16th, 2005 02:00 am (UTC)
it makes you wonder if all that weather manipulation propaganda doesnt actually have some truth to it.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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