Sensible Regulation of Automobiles

There were 32,367 deaths in traffic accidents in the United States in 2011. During the same year, there were 8,583 murders committed with firearms in the U. S. Clearly, we need to apply at least the same level of regulation to the possession and use of automobiles as we do to guns.

Michael Z. Williamson explains what that would entail. (H/T, Instapundit) Here’s a partial list of such sensible restrictions:

To buy or operate a standard car, one will have to be 18 years old.  Under that age, adult supervision will be mandatory.  This means the adult must be in the vehicle with the underage driver.

To buy a sports car, you will have to be 21.  A “Sports car” will be defined as any combination of any two of the following: 2 doors instead of 4, spoked rims not requiring hubcaps, aerodynamic effects such as spoilers or air dams, a wheelbase under 100 inches, a manual transmission, a curb weight under 3000 lbs, fiberglass or other non-metal construction, or painted logos.

For every purchase, you will have to fill out a questionnaire confirming you’re a US citizen, do not use drugs or abuse alcohol, have never had a conviction for alcohol related incidents or reckless driving.  Lying on this form will be punishable by 10 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

New cars will only be purchased from Federal Automobile Licensees who must provide fingerprints, proof of character, secure storage for all vehicles, and who must call the Federal Bureau of Motor Vehicles to verify your information before purchase.  They may approve or decline or delay the sale.  If they decline, you may appeal the decision in writing to a review board.  If they delay, it becomes an approval automatically after 10 days. However, the dealer may decline to complete such a sale in case of later problems.

Additionally, the purchase of more than two cars in a given year will require signing an understanding that buying cars in order to resell them without a license is a crime.  There is an 11% federal excise tax on all new vehicles, plus any state or local tax.

Given that vehicles cause almost four times the carnage as guns, if it only saves one life …

These laws and regulations are due to drunk drivers, reckless drivers and other criminals.  The automobile community should be glad it is allowed to exist at all, given all the deaths and environmental damage caused by these vehicles.

The president said today that he strongly supports your right to own and drive basic, standard vehicles for farm use and carpooling. But he and many other people have made it clear that eventually – maybe this month – we need to cease all manufacturing of such high powered automobiles for the civilian market.

Eventually, we need to move away from the notion that owning and operating a vehicle is a right and entitlement, and limit it to people with a proven, bona fide professional need.  There are plenty of trains and buses for normal people.  This is how most civilized nations are moving and is not a violation of your right to travel.

Read the whole thing.

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