Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Modest (Traffic-Related) Proposal

It's early December (wait...December? It's 77 outside. But Global Warming is a made-up boogeyman created by pinko commie liberals to destroy business and Iraq Iran is the real threat...yeah, that's the ticket). Ok. Focus.

It's early December in Georgia and our drought hasn't improved. In fact, Lake Lanier's topped the previous low. Now there's rain in the forecast for later this week, so we may see Sonny have another Pray-For-Rain sit-in, but as far as actual solutions (I for one, question why the words "Cloud Seeding" haven't been brought up at all) looks like we're out of luck.

But maybe I'm being too hard on our elected State officials. Maybe just this one time, it's not failure due to poor planning and incompetence, but failure due to lack of money. Well, I've got a solution.

Yep. No I'm not running for office, but my proposal could clean up traffic in and around Atlanta, while also providing funds to massively upgrade our water supply. How? Read on.

For over a decade now I've been jealous of German driving laws. In particular, I love that on the Autobahn, the idea that the left lane is for passing only is strictly enforced. Some guy in a Ferrari passes you on the right--even if you're at 75 mph (it'd be Kph there but I'm not doing a metric conversion)--you get the big ticket, not the Ferrari.

Then this summer, I saw a variation on the law was enacted in Texas. So why not here?

The first version's pretty simple stuff. It will apply only to the main roads: I-75, I-85, the Downtown Connector, I-285, GA 400, I-20, GA-316, and maybe parts of Highways 141, 120, and 78.

If you're on one of those roads, and you're getting passed by someone in any lane to your right, you're liable for a citation and fine. Now, perhaps I'm allowing my occasional road rage to get draconian with the fee schedule, but here's my suggested fines:
1st offense: $250 fine
2nd offense: $500 fine
3rd offense: $1,000 fine, mandatory driver's ed course
4th offense: $2,000 fine, 90-day suspension of license
5th offense: $5,000 fine, 120-suspension of license

And so on (I figure if some dumbass gets to a 10th offense, they shouldn't be allowed on the road. Ever.)

A portion of the fines could go to police departments (thereby paying salaries without resorting to speed trap tactics) and a good 50% could go to building new water reservoirs, piping, and other "let's not run out of water" measures.

Would it bring in money? I hypothetically counted potential first offenders yesterday and on GA 400 between Lenox Mall and I-285 alone the State could have made over $8,000.

And if the water infrastructure is improved and the fines still come pouring in, the money could be directed towards Driver's Ed programs. I had to "pretend parallel park" and drove around an isolated parking lot for my driver's test. And if it was raining they canceled the tests. In no way did any of it prepare me for driving. Maybe, just maybe, that should change.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Sign me up!

If I had to make a law, it would be legal to shoot (yes, shoot) people who cruise up the shoulder of the road because they don't want to sit in traffic. It wouldn't do anything for the water problem, but it would get some people off the road.