How many times have you seen a truly dumb move in traffic and thought, "There ought to be a law ..."? In a perfect world, there would be a few more like these top 10 driving laws we want in the books.
10: Driving ends at a certain "age"
Notice how age is in quotations? That's not because we're proposing all driving privileges cease at age X. Here, age applies to the state of mind when giving a damn for others on the road (or even sidewalks) ceases to be. The driver could be 88 or 18. Douche-bag moves, whether by intent or ignorance, shouldn't spoil driving for the rest of us.
9: Cars assigned by endowment
It's time we had parity in the dating world and on the road, so the two may as well join forces for a useful overhaul. Here's how it breaks down: Three-legged freaks of nature don't need any favors, so they get subcompacts; normal guys get normal cars; and inverted guys get monster trucks and big SUVs (in the latter sense, that might not be entirely different from the way it is now). The DMV would suddenly have hotties working the counters for examination and you'd never dread going again. In all fairness, a similar program for women would put gold diggers in subcompacts for poetic justice; tireless carnal freaks would get vans from the '70s -- the original shaggin' wagons, complete with mag wheels, airbrushed murals and "If This Van's a-Rockin; ... " bumper sticker. Giggidy-giggidy, alright ...
8: Over-customized cars are to be banned
There's an age-old proverb one must remember when customizing a car: You can't polish a turd. We think Confucius may have said it. Or maybe it was Soichiro Honda. Either way, the late Honda-san would probably not appreciate the over-customization of his and other cars well after their prime. Or should we say, well after they're in primer? If your car doesn't need oil changes because you pour in a fresh quart every 100 miles, there's no point installing subs bigger than the wheels themselves. If the cylinder compression readout looks like Tiger Woods' scorecard, don't bother with the high-flow intake and custom exhaust either. And yet, some still do. They must be stopped before they polish again -- and no, racing stripes do not make your car go faster.
7: Animal restraining orders
Why are some of the most self-professed animal lovers the biggest threats to their companions' well-being? What part of putting a beloved pet on your lap, in the way of the controls and inches from the airbag, sounds like a good idea while driving? Why is letting a dog stick its head out the window and into danger considered pampering? You've noticed the crud that collects on your windshield. Exposing a pooch to that plus deafening wind noise is a weird treat when you think about it. But therein lies the problem: Prove you're smarter than your pet, that chases its own tail, or else well have to enact animal-restraint laws.
6: Sex in cars
For an act that's natural and rewarding, there are an amazing number of legal restrictions surrounding sex. If Big Brother is that uptight about organic body operations, start with the restriction of belching and farting in public. They should enforce that and decriminalize sex in cars where it currently applies. Follow this logic: Obscenity laws don't extend to forbidding sex in the privacy of our homes. More than ever, our cars are becoming our extended homes. It's a shame not to extend equal benefits to our second places of residence -- it's kind of discriminatory in fact. But to confess, this wasn't our idea. It was suggested by the a van full of nymphets. They wanted to run it up the flagpole, and we were compelled to back them up all the way.
5: Decorative limits
It's sad that some need speed limits to save themselves from unrestricted, bad judgment. Sadder, still, is that we are in dire need of decorative limits for the same reason. A $50 set of four plastic spinner hubcaps is four too many. And just because a girl was awarded 20 pounds of beads and leis for flashing on spring break, is no reason to boast about her adventures in skankdom by hanging them from her rearview, blocking her vision entirely. Also, it doesn't take a dozen bumper stickers to state your opinion -- we get it. You want to save the whales, good for you; you want to shoot the whales and everything else, great; you think Calvin pissing on something is funny, we just pity you.
4: Your choice: Car seats or kids
Even if we had a desperately needed program of intense pre-breeding screening, a few bottom-dwellers would inevitably slip through. And they're the same winners with kids bouncing around inside a moving vehicle with no car seats in sight. So, after surgically sterilizing the parents (assuming both can be found), why not give them a choice: Get some car seats or hand over the unholy spawn. Too harsh? Think about it: The kids could then go to adoption-rabid celebrities. They seem to dig disadvantaged tots, so let's save them the trouble of jetting half a world away and point them to the nearest trailer park.
3: Signal ... or else
So, you don't want to signal turns and lane changes? You don't get why we all need to know where you're guiding your two- or three-ton vehicle? No problem, we'll solve that the way Harvey Keitel's Mr. White explained how uncooperative parties should be dealt with in Reservoir Dogs. That is, one finger at a time. And don't think signaling buys immunity when you want to merge 20 yards before a lane closure. The rest of us saw the signs 5 miles back; they apply to you, too. You should've signaled and merged then like the rest of us, with all 10 fingers. Oh well, it's your loss.
2: IQ test to get a license
We already have driving tests. There should be mandatory retests for all drivers of all ages every few years, but that's another discussion. For now, let's just throw around the idea of passing an IQ test before being allowed to drive. We're not saying you have to be Ken Jennings, but you should have to prove you know why it's a bad idea to drive 85 mph in thick fog. Or why four-wheel drive means diddly when you need to stop on glare ice. Proving that applying makeup, shaving, eating, and reading while driving are all unintelligent acts could be considered for extra credit.
1: Lane assignments based on competency
OK, let's say none of the other nine laws proposed ever passed. If you could wish for anything else, wouldnt it be nice if the fast lane actually lived up to its name? That's why, if all else fails, we need lane assignments based on competency. When someone should be a passenger, but insists on driving, they should be banished to the far right lane. Can't decide whether you want to go 45 or 75 mph? Welcome to the far right lane. Insist on driving intoxicated? Over to the right, you lush ... No, your other right. Need to text your BFF? OMG IMO u need 2 move over -- WTF!? You get the idea. They can smash the hell out of each other in their own special lane and leave the rest open to those of us who actually want to focus on the lost art of driving -- oh and maybe we should consider putting up cement barricades between lanes too ...
Rules of the Road
In a perfect world, our traffic laws would do a much better job of keeping us safe and keeping America beautiful. But, until we cross that bridge driving laws like these are our only hope. So, keep your fingers crossed that someone out there reads this and actually puts these rules of the road into action.