War on Cars Watch for June 26, 2019

Welcome to the War on Cars Watch, a weekly blog to bring together all the stories that affect motorists with regards to street planning such as road diets, and traffic calming as well as programs such as Vision Zero and Complete Streets.

Please read this blog and let us know what you think by commenting below! Check out the NMA’s War on Cars Watch Facebook Page where we feature a story a day!

NMA Communications Director Shelia Dunn compiles the list, with commentary from NMA Member Michael Jabbra (marked with an MJ). NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker gives us his considerable wisdom at the end of this week’s list.

Information from June 19-25, 2019

National

MJ: This is welcome news. Now it’s time for us to press our Senators and President Trump so that this bill can become law. Civil asset forfeiture needs to stop.

MJ: People, let’s do the right thing. Don’t mix driving with alcohol or drugs. Legalization of marijuana does not magically decrease its intoxicating properties.

National Mobility as a Service or MaaS Stories

MJ: I don’t live in the Bay Area, but I have heard that it is hard to make ends meet there, even for those who are better paid than ride-share drivers. Without wishing to excuse CEO greed, I would suggest finding another line of work. If many ride-share drivers do this, then the ride-share companies would face a labor shortage, and then they would have to raise wages to attract labor. One major reason why ride-share driver wages are so low is that almost anyone can drive a car, but not everyone can, for example, do surgery or high-level computer work (security, or artificial intelligence). Lauren, you deserve better – and there are employers out there who will treat you better. Perhaps even outside the Bay Area.

International

Alabama

California

MJ: Somehow I doubt that any of this money will make it to local roads here in Los Angeles, many of which are terrible. When citizens vote no on tax increases, they are sending a message to government: We don’t trust you. The problem is not a lack of money so much as it is government’s failure to earn people’s trust. All the money burned on high-speed rail could have gone to road repair and local mass transit.

Colorado

District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Louisiana

Maine

Massachusetts

Missouri

Nevada

New Jersey

New Jersey and New York

New Mexico

New York

MJ: Batteries are getting better all the time. Range is increasing. It may even be possible to have electric aircraft, at least for short trips such as Los Angeles – Las Vegas or New York – Washington D.C. Yet electric cars should be freely chosen by people, not forced by government mandate. Memo to politicians: not everyone can afford an electric car at this time. Let the technology improve, and the price come down, and people will come to electric cars on their own.

MJ: Yet it will still be the driver’s fault if cyclists using phones get hit because they weren’t paying attention. Drivers and bikers, the call can wait. Your life is more important. So is avoiding liability. And anyway, somehow we all managed to survive before cellphones and social media. Be a rebel – put the phone down!

Oregon

Tennessee

Texas

Vermont

Virginia

Wisconsin

Commentary from NMA Foundation Executive Director James C. Walker

The NMA along with the ACLU, the Campaign for Liberty, and others helped support an amendment by Rep. Walberg to make it harder for local authorities to steal cars from people that may be innocent using civil forfeiture rules.

Pedestrian advocates want to blame 99.999% of all pedestrian fatalities on the car drivers, but that is nonsense. NHTSA data clearly shows that about 60% of the fatalities involve an action or inaction by the pedestrians that contributed to their own fatalities. Pedestrian advocates call this “victim blaming,” but that is nonsense. Pedestrians that do not exercise caution under risky circumstances ARE partly at fault if they become a fatality.

North American visitors to Australia should always be aware that OZ runs some of the most predatory speed and red-light camera rackets in the world. They want your money, so be very cautious.

As lane thefts via Road Diets and bike lanes for a tiny percentage of the commuting flow get more common, so have the opposition forces become more vocal. People drive because it is faster, more private, safer, more convenient, more flexible, etc. and private vehicle commuters are the overwhelming majority in most cities. Officials should support the majority, not the tiny fringe elements.

Texas finally ends their for-profit Driver Responsibility Program racket, as Michigan did in 2018. It destroyed the social and working lives of hundreds of thousands of lower income Texans, as it did for lower income residents in Michigan. These programs are manifestly evil and should never exist.

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