I intended to leave this topic alone. So much for plans.
I read the Jalopnik and other items below and hurt myself rolling my eyes. Once again, “car culture” is put ahead of and valued more than human lives or the environment.
First up: Honda pretends it “cares about pedestrian safety”.
Honda and Softbank are working together to try to reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians and cars, as the Japanese carmaker tries to make good on its promise of a collision-free society. Honda has been developing its suite of ADAS to that end, but the carmaker is turning to the other half of the equation, pedestrians.
How is this a “solution” when pedestrians are not the problem? Honda plans to put cell phone technology into cars and blame pedestrians. I can think of at least five ways that this is “plan” is utterly stupid and a failure before it begins:
(1) WHY NOT MAKE THE CAR SLOW DOWN when it detects a phone?
Speeding death boxes kill people, not cell phones.
(2) WHY DISTRACT PEDESTRIANS with a text message?
If pedestrians are looking at a phone’s text message, they’re NOT looking at the road. Congratulations, Honda, you just made things worse.
Traffic terrorists (drivers, cops, city planners, etc.) have long blamed pedestrians for the actions of drivers:
“If pedestrians look at their phones while walking, it’s their fault if they’re killed.”
Now Honda wants to blame the other half of pedestrians:
“If pedestrians DON’T look at their phones while walking, it’s their fault if they’re killed.”
(3) WHAT IF PEDESTRIANS DON’T SEE THE MESSAGE?
I put my phone in my purse or my backpack when walking, so I wouldn’t hear or feel it if a message came. Then again, I set my phone so it does not vibrate or ring at all, day or night. I don’t want interruptions in my classes, and I can’t be bothered changing it.
Why is it MY responsibility to turn on vibration or a ring tone for the convenience of speeding drivers? And even if I had the ringer on and I weren’t going deaf, I likely wouldn’t hear it over the noise of the traffic.
(4) HOW MANY PEOPLE DON’T HAVE CELL PHONES?
It doesn’t shock that a rich corporation doesn’t value the lives of the poor who can’t afford cell phones or children who don’t carry one. But there’s also I and many people I know who go to the store or other places without a phone. I doubt we’re the only ones in the world who do that, it’s likely people do it everywhere.
(5) WHY NOT INSTALL A BODY HEAT SENSOR INSTEAD?
People have a different but still detectable heat signature from a vehicle or an animal. Why not install heat instead along with (or instead of) car-detecting radar? It would keep the onus of responsibility on the driver where it belongs.
What good is sending messages to a phone if someone’s phone does not vibrate? To someone who can’t feel the phone because it’s in a purse or backpack? To a kid more concerned about running across the street? To someone who doesn’t have a phone? This is just another way to blame pedestrians instead of putting the responsibility on traffic terrorists.
Second: The UK’s lavaTories force home owners to build corporate infrastructure.
This won’t hurt wealthy people, since they’re the only ones who can afford to build new homes. But what happens when it extends to requiring it during home sales (i.e. buying an existing home)? This is something government and car companies should be building, and instead they’re shifting the cost onto people.
New homes and buildings in England will be required by law to install electric vehicle charging points from next year, the prime minister has announced.
The government said the move will see up to 145,000 charging points installed across the country each year.
You may say, “So what’s the problem?” The problem is this penalizes people who might choose NOT to own a car, who want to build a small home and have no intention of owning a car (i.e. people actually concerned about the environment). Some people who don’t want to own one. Instead, individuals are being forced to provide and pay for infrastructure that car companies will profit from, something that some people will never use.
Third: UK drivers are whining because traffic cameras are forcing them to slow down.
A week after a baby was run over in Shropshire, drivers in the city of Brighton are complaining about fines assessed after they were caught speeding through residential areas, illegally driving in bus lanes, and committing other infractions and crimes at a rate of three hundred per day. Daytime traffic (6am to 11pm, 17 hours) accounts for approximately 95% of traffic during a 24 hour period., so Brighton drivers are averaging over seventeen infractions per hour, all day every day, endangering pedestrians, cyclists, children and many others.
And they don’t see that as a problem. Talk about a sense of entitlement.
A FURIOUS motorist said traffic enforcement cameras raking in thousands of pounds in fines from motorists are “disgusting”.
The outraged driver said the signage for the cameras, which have captured 9,618 motorists in the last month alone, was “very bad”.
She narrowly avoided falling victim to the experimental traffic order at Valley Gardens, which led 310 people being fined every day in October.
The Argus visited the controversial bus gates yesterday and within minutes, witnessed dozens of unsuspecting motorists breaching the traffic order.
Drivers called themselves “unsuspecting victims”. As if. They were told the cameras were coming, and had the warning to slow down and obey the law. If they didn’t, that’s not the city’s fault.
Fourth: Drivers who keep weapons in their cars are the aggressor, not the victim.
Earlier this month, there was a minor trading of paint between the driver of a Volkswagen and a Maserati. The small car’s driver, a university student, knew he was at fault and got out to apologize and make amends.
Instead of talking, the little rich boy driving the Maserati and his passengers got out and proceeded to beat the university student’s head with a baseball bat, leaving him in a coma. The student is now awake and the Maserati driver under arrest, but what will be the outcome? Little rich boy’s daddy buys his way out of prison and he does it a third time (this wasn’t his first arrest)?
Incompetent and corrupt policing is a big part of the problem.
Three men were detained in Taichung yesterday after their vehicle was hit and they allegedly assaulted the other driver with a baseball bat, resulting in a serious head injury.
Chang Tun-liang (張敦量), 23, Chen Ching-hao (陳勁豪), 19, and Lee Wei-lin (李韋霖), 25, might be charged with attempted homicide, illegal confinement causing injury to the victim and “interference with public order,” the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office said.
The other driver — a 19-year-old student, surnamed Sung (宋), who is enrolled at Feng Chia University in Taichung — remains in a coma.
[. . .]
A report by Sixth Police Precinct officers said that Sung was driving a Volkswagen with four friends in the early hours of Sunday morning when the vehicle sideswiped a Maserati sports car on Taiwan Boulevard, the city’s main thoroughfare.
According to a witness and video footage, Chang, Chen and Lee were yelling as they exited the Maserati and soon began punching and kicking Sung.
Lee, who had been driving, allegedly hit Sung with a baseball bat multiple times on the head, despite Sung’s apologies, police said.
After they arrived, police took the trio’s statements and let them leave the scene, the report said, adding that officers saw no reason to detain the trio, as the fighting had ended.
[. . .]
News of the assault and the handling of the case resulted in a public outcry, while media reports saying that the trio came from wealthy families and had criminal records brought more condemnation.
[. . .]
Taichung City Councilor Hsieh Chih-chung (謝志忠) of the Democratic Progressive Party said that the police chief should resign, and if he refuses to do so, Lu should be held responsible for the incident.
“Fighting had ended”? There was no “fight”, it was an unprovoked assault. That cop clearly “thinks” he answers to the wealthy and not the public.
The government is responding with half-measures instead of addressing the root problem, a sense of entitlement among the wealthy. Of course, we saw that repeatedly in 2020 when little rich boys repeatedly broke quarantine for COVID-19 with little punishment. They should have gotten months in jail instead of a fine that daddy can pay off.
Following a series of violent incidents in Taiwan involving baseball bats, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said police will register anyone with a bat found in their car in the future.
During his speech at the “Synchronized National Anti-Gang Program” press conference on Monday (Nov. 22), Hsu vowed to uproot and snuff out organized crime, CNA reported. He mentioned recent “baseball bat team” incidents in Taichung, New Taipei, and Yunlin that disrupted social order over very small disputes.
Authorities have found that many bat-wielding miscreants are linked to scam or gambling rings. While some culprits involved did not have a gang affiliation on file, police will focus on combating these people’s tendencies to be violent and group up, Hsu was cited as saying.
Yes, a lot of it is gang related, but not all. A significant portion of this is road rage by rich people (especially young males) who are not affiliated with gangs. The cops should be doing random stops and checks of anything and everything with an German (e.g. BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW) or luxury marque (e.g. Ferrari, Lambourghini, Lexus, etc.). Those brands regularly come up in these stories and in youtube videos, but there are other idiots in other vehicles who get violent too. I’ve had more than one pull out a bat on me for no reason. They’re more high strung than piano wire. It makes me glad I don’t own a scooter.
In 2015, Business Insider published an item entitled “Rich people and psychopaths tend to have 7 distinct traits in common”. Six of the seven traits apply to rich people driving cars.