What’s government doing? Category

To many people, the world is a simple place. Those who are fit enough get up in the morning and eat breakfast. Then it’s on to the roads to go to school or to work. When classes end or the hours are put in, the roads beckon. After another meal, sleep to recharge the battery for the next day. Except this straightforward model has broken down as applied to politics. America has become a polarized place. Politicians no longer talk to each other. Business on Capitol Hill has seized up.Read More
If you look back through history, there have always been accidents connected with transport. When using horses, it’s easy for the driver to fail to control the speed when approaching difficult terrain. When the railways began, drivers failed to see signals. Pilots in ships and airplanes fail to see warnings on dials and displays. The courts call these people criminals and the negligent. Psychologists talk about a lack of situational awareness. What it all comes down to is a failure to concentrate on the routine physical task and, when theRead More
Although many people may not always be aware of how far their prejudices and beliefs influence their decision-making, there’s a practical reality that tends to shine through the statistics. Individually, trends may not be obvious. But when you scale up to larger numbers of people, you can see how far the group-think operates. If we wanted to insult people, we could keep things very simple and accuse liberals of being in love with their Volvos while the rednecks sleep in their pickup trucks. Not that this is directly relevant but,Read More
The question, of course, is what you do when you’re caught up in gridlock on your way to or from work. If you have to commute into or near a large urban area, you cannot fail to be aware of the dysfunction on the roads. So when you have time on your hands, but no chance to do anything other than watch the vehicles in front of and beside you, how do you pass the time? Some listen to the radio or play music but, after a time, even theseRead More
There’s an old saying much beloved of the people in power. “Do as I say, not what I do.” In other words, there’s often a disconnect between the rhetoric politicians spout when the cameras point their way, and the way they behave when they hope no one is looking. For a moment, let’s look at the debate over Obama care. When faced by the possibility of either buying their own health insurance cover through one of the new exchanges or paying a penalty, the lawmakers tried to mount a rebellion.Read More

Posted On September 16, 2013By adminIn What's government doing?

What price autonomous driving?

Up to this point in time, most of the news about the development of autonomous vehicles has either been journalism as a spectator, “Oh look what these clever people are doing over at Google” or advanced marketing for the new makes and models soon to go driverless. This article is a brief attempt to think through the changes likely to occur if autonomous vehicles are allowed on to our public roads in significant numbers. To keep this in perspective, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class already has a high level of driver assistanceRead More
The way states are supposed to work is that the adult population listens to candidates and then votes into power those they feel will do their best for the people. Once in position, these representatives get access to all the tax revenue and set the budgets for spending it. As a part of the campaigning, there will have been discussions on the policies for allocating the available funds. The people want a safe environment, good schools, and all the amenities you need for a convenient lifestyle. Obviously this includes aRead More
If you look with completely objective eyes, those who injure or kill other when driving drunk should suffer major penalties. Why? The law of homicide or serious assaults gets a conviction when either the defendant intended to cause the injury or was reckless, i.e. foresaw the possibility of harm but went ahead anyway. So with drunken driving, we have an individual intentionally drinking a liquid that reduces concentration, and then gets into a vehicle intending to drive. At the very least, drunken drivers are reckless every time they drive andRead More

Posted On August 23, 2013By adminIn What's government doing?

What distracts drivers?

The mobile devices now used as phones are becoming an increasingly important part of your lives. Gone are the days when all they did was make a noise when a call was coming in. Now the problems begin with a text message, but can rapidly spread when the driver is tempted to watch the latest YouTube video or update status on Facebook, or perhaps just tweet a thought to the waiting world. This means the temptation to stay connected is greater than ever. Except, of course, law-makers can use theirRead More
There are two basic systems for organizing the provision of car insurance. One relies on the centuries old law of tort. The driver who’s at fault pays for putting right the damage caused. The other approach is no-fault insurance. Effectively this is self-insurance where anyone who decides to drive insures against any losses they may suffer as a result. In other more law-abiding countries, the no-fault system works out cheaper because instead of spending time and money arguing about who’s to blame, insurers only need decide how much to payRead More