Citing “government overreach” and calling the laws “arbitrary and overbroad,” Republican leaders in Kentucky today proposed eliminating laws setting speed limits and requiring seat belts. The call for such action came at a press conference in Frankfort.
The politicos were reacting to recent developments across the country, where various legislatures and governors were implementing new traffic rules in order to stop the growing number of injuries and fatalities caused by automobiles. A major concern has been the impact of these incidents on others, where the driver causing the accident was not injured, but another innocent driver was seriously injured or killed.
Speed limits: “We should trust personal responsibility”
The Republican lawmakers urged the removal of speed limits, saying instead we should trust the “personal responsibility” of all drivers.
“Look at the autobahn in Germany!” said one legislator. “They don’t have any speed limits at all!” When informed that many parts of the autobahn do, in fact, have speed limits, and that the limits are enforced for anyone going more than 2 MPH over that limit, the lawmaker replied “then they just need to show more personal responsibility.”
Left unanswered was the question from one reporter: “What happens if a driver doesn’t show that personal responsibility and injures or kills someone else?”
Seat belts: “Where’s the science?”
As for the question of requiring seat belts in cars, more than one Republican claimed that there was no science backing up the effectiveness of seat belts. They claimed that the multiple studies done on the question were in conflict, and in fact there was no scientific consensus on the subject.
“I saw a study on Fox News that said that seat belts were actually harmful,” said one legislator. However, when asked whether the study had been peer-reviewed, he responded that he didn’t know.
The legislators at the press conference were especially upset about requiring seat belts for children. “Who in their right mind thinks you are going to be able to get children to wear seat belts?” said one speaker. “Hell, we can’t even get them to sit still in the seat! There’s no way we can require seat belts for children.”
As part of the press conference, one Republican legislator shared that she is preparing to file a bill to remove all speed limit and seat belt laws from state governance, and leave such actions up to either local governments or to individual drivers.
When asked why she was doing this, she replied, “It is a simple matter of freedom. Setting speed limits and requiring seat belts are limits to our freedoms under the Constitution.”
Note: For anyone who didn’t realize it, this is satire. (Note that it is in Commentary and not News.) And if you wondered if it could be real, think about what that says about the level of common sense in our politics today.
No one (so far) has proposed eliminating speed limits or seat belts. Instead, this is about the absurd, over-the-top, selfish reaction of some, including elected officials, to wearing masks. Their arguments mirror those in this article, and make as much sense.