There’s no question that driving Minnesota highways, especially those in the metro, is a frustrating experience. Anybody can get a driver’s license and it shows daily in the incompetent and dangerous moves we all see, and sometimes participate in.
How far are we willing to go to change that behavior?
That might well be the question you have after reading today’s Star Tribune op-ed with suggestions for making highways safer.
Kevin Turnquist of Shoreview provides several typical ones: Slower traffic required to move to the right, banning trucks from the left lanes. They’d never survive a legislative floor flight. You know, freedom and all.
8) To think that humans will always obey traffic laws when they think no one in authority is watching is just silly. We can’t afford an army of officers to enforce these common-sense suggestions. So the solution must come from technology. Outfitting the vehicles of countless citizen volunteers with cameras similar to those installed on police vehicles would ensure that there is always a good chance that someone will capture traffic infractions on tape. When volunteers see someone driving in a way that impedes the flow of traffic, they can push a button that will send the footage to appropriate authorities.
Turnquist also suggested a system of demerits. When a driver accumulates enough demerits, he/she has to put pink license plates on his/her car.
He didn’t suggest this one. How about this person never, ever be allowed to drive an automobile again on the theory that he’s proved an inability to do so safely?
— BringMeTheNews (@BringMN) May 2, 2014
It’s unclear whether he was drunk. The chase started with a report that he was weaving on the highway. If he was, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s had previous conviction because if there’s one thing Minnesotans love to do, it’s drinking and driving. And Minnesota loves to put them right back on the road. One out of seven Minnesota drivers has a drunk-driving conviction on his/her record.