I don’t know what Matt Yglesias has against cars, but they seem to be a major impediment to creating his nanny state utopia:
As you’ve probably noticed, there’s just about nowhere in the United States where you’re allowed to drive faster than 80 miles per hour. And yet cars can drive much faster than this.
And of course the reason you’re not allowed to go super-fast is that it isn’t safe. A large proportion of car accidents are related to people driving too quickly. Thus, via Ezra Klein comes Kent Sepkowitz’s suggestion that we design cars so as to make it impossible for them to drive over, say, 75 miles per hour. This seems reasonably sensible to me.
This seems reasonably sensible to no one, once you’ve thought about it for more than a few seconds. If you’re going to allow cars to drive at 60-70 miles an hour, you probably need to allow for the fact that there are innumerable situations where safety dictates you depend on reserve power to drive faster than the prevailing speed. Never mind that unsafe speeds are relative to the time, place and conditions. It’s usually much more dangerous to go 50 in a 25 mph zone than 75 in a 75 mph zone, and Yglesias’ proposed limiting of engine speeds does nothing about this.
Frankly, this post makes me wonder if Yglesias has ever seriously driven a car, and if not, why he’s blogging about this.