We are talking about human lives here

There are a lot of real jerks on the road. I fear them and, yes, I even hate them and hate is a very strong emotion. We just had our first grandchild and the thought of one of these lunatics, weaving in and out of traffic and behaving like hyped up adolescents, possibly killing my children or grandchildren for no good reason is more than I can bear. Are we all agreed on that? Of course, they may think that they are good drivers but they can’t anticipate the reaction of the people around them to their antics. We all see them on the roads and, of course, they get nowhere for all crazy driving. It’s infuriating. You always wish there was a cop around when you need one, but somehow, there never is. There are too many idiots and too few police.

We are now living in a new technological age. After a long, obnoxious debate, the New York state Legislature has finally had the courage to authorize more cameras in school districts in New York City and Long Island. The catch is, they are only to be used for the hours before and after school. Sorry, Charlie, that just won’t do. It’s not enough. There should be cameras all over the place. We should have them on the New York State Thruway, where too often we can see Senators and Assembly members flouting the law, whizzing along as if they own the roads. When you think about it, it’s just another form of corruption. If we had cameras on the road, they’d get a ticket. Oh, excuse me, their car would get a ticket because we don’t know who’s driving the vehicle. No one would get well-deserved points on their license.

So where are the laws that would protect us and our loved ones? How come it took so long before we got appropriate drunken driving laws on the books? Well, one potential hypothesis is that some legislators drink too much and some drive too fast. Too often, they see their role as protecting themselves and not the public who elect them. God bless people like the Assembly and Senate members who try to do the right thing, only to see their good ideas nickeled and dimed down to the least threatening possible bill that will not offend the hard drinking, hard driving legislators or the various lobbyists who have one economic pony or another in the great legislative race.

Do you ever think about whether or not these people have a child or grandchild they fear for?

There are always people who don’t like the idea of the all-seeing cameras. They argue that the cameras are an invasion of their privacy. Maybe they are driving with someone who they shouldn’t be driving with, if you catch my drift. Of course, legislators never do that, so that is at least one place they don’t have to worry. Cameras are a reality. I love the fact that we have them all around the public radio stations that I run. In fact, one miscreant warned everyone on a blog that I had TV cameras on my properties and any trespassers should beware.

Life is a series of compromises. We all know that if the whackos and lunatics are held responsible for their potentially life-threatening actions, there will be fewer accidents. That’s simply impossible to deny. Does the Legislature know this? Of course they do. We have the technology to help save lives and yet they don’t do it. If there is another side to this story I sure don’t know what it is. I want you to think about what I am saying every time you lose a year of your life because some jerk cuts you off or weaves out in front of you. Remember that we are talking about human lives here.

What is one life worth?

Originally published in the Legislative Gazette, 5/13/14

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2 Comments on “We are talking about human lives here”

  1. Harvey Brody Says:

    A couple of interesting points, the most important being the need of compromise in life. I certainly agree that the placement of cameras near schools is vital, however the opponents do not question that. They question why the cameras are left on when the schools are closed and not in use. You could compromise by suggesting that not only must quantity of cameras be increased near schools to protect the children, and turned on only when the schools are in session,, but the revenue derived would go to the local school districts. That is called compromise.To offer accolades to our legislative branch of government is still out for review. First and foremost it’s great work if you can get it for a part time job, yet we do can quite a few great leaders from the job. It seems humorous that our former governor Spitzer tried to get them to adopt a most effective methodology of detecting and punishing corruption without success. Now we have a governor, who’s no Mario playing the same game with the legislature, and they jump like lapdogs. Then when governor first get’s rid of an effective Inspector General replacing him with a yes governor type they applaud him. Fortunately a very good Us Attorney who lives in our State has decided to actually do what our governor said with scientific polling and media releases. One funny irony is that it seems that a family member inherited the legislative seat of our disgraced former State Comptroller Hevessi that continues under the radar.Certainly there are nuts and worse operating cars on NYS highways.When I made the mistake of moving upstate I can easily remember going back on the Thruway and going through the Bronx. Although a NYC expatriate I was actually afraid when I drove through the Bronx and seeing many of the drivers going 80 MPH and ignoring the VTL. There wasn’t a police officer to be found. This was post Guilliani. The next time I became “used” to it. A major component of life is compromise, but there are are certain times when there is no room for compromise. I suggest that if you haven’t already see the play “Golda’s Balcony..”

  2. dfvellone Says:

    Most people don’t realize that driving is not a right but a privilege. Their indignation over roadside cameras as a violation of right of privacy is misplaced. When one ventures out onto the road they are sharing a public thoroughfare, negotiating at high speeds a vehicle weighing around several thousand pounds. It wouldn’t stretch the limits of imagination to consider this bulk of steel hurtling down the road a weapon, certainly more so in the hands of certain individuals. Though we can all appreciate a right of privacy in our homes, it’s difficult to see that a right of privacy on a 65 mph four lane highway would trump the much greater need for safety. Unlike a handgun permit the vast majority of us are able to very simply qualify for the licensing required to get behind the wheel. As a citizen deeply skeptical of the goverments prying eyes (and ears) I am also a father who would welcome some more scrutiny where it would actually do us all some good. Thanks Alan.


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