Car breakdown

Automotive breakdowns could one day be a criminal offense


If poor maintenance leads to freeway breakdowns that continue to cost motorists hours of stress, missed appointments, delays and aggravation, it may one day become a criminal offense, leaving the poor, beleaguered offender to suffer the added consequence of jail time or fines on top of the unaffordable repairs their vehicle needs.

Such a movement is growing in Australia according to a post by Greg Thom on the Herald Sun just this morning.

Admittedly the rush hour commute is frequently complicated by accidents and automotive breakdowns, but are we going to further punish the victims of automotive breakdowns on crowded freeways for blocking or delaying traffic.

According to INRIX, an independent provider of traffic and navigation information, many of us spend up to four weeks annually in traffic jams.

Of course, breakdowns resulting from a lack of timely maintenance are avoidable, aren’t they? Wouldn’t punishing the scoundrels essentially be a return to the feudal concept of debtor’s prison? Making poverty in to crime unto itself? Is the inability to manage one’s life and money a sinful choice or simply a failure of our system of education and commerce?

The National Motorists Association of Australia seems to think such merits prohibition and punishment. Part of the problem results from the reduction in government budgets, whether in the provinces of Australia or the states of America. Breakdowns require police man-hours most metropolitan areas can’t currently afford – not to mention the time and indefinite costs to those stuck in the resulting traffic jams. So like everything else, it really comes down to economics.

It would seem the haves are happy to tolerate the have-nots as long as they don’t interrupt their relatively idyllic lives. So why do some people wonder why there’s an Occupy Wall Street movement in the U.S?

Economics are why the various Departments of Transportation can’t keep up with the mobility needs of a rapidly growing populace, and that lack of building for the future, rather than playing catch-up, is the true source of gridlock.

We’ve all been stuck in traffic when we’re supposed to be somewhere important. Yes it is aggravating, but it’s part of the world we live in. Should we really regulate who can use the highways at rush hour by how worthy their cars may be?

Granted, there are some people on the highways who don’t belong there. They are the old blue-haired women and half-zeimer men who drive 45 mph and never have accidents, but cause them because hurried, frustrated people will take ridiculous risks to get around them.

There are the kids driving on the highway and texting, even though they know it is dangerous. Shouldn’t we be worrying about them instead of those who are just trying to get ahead and for whom feeding the kids takes precedence over a scheduled oil change or radiator flush and fill?

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Comments

This is terrible. How far from the mark can our government get? Breakdowns should not be punished with fines or criminal court action. Summary execution makes much more sense and would speed things up quite a bit! :)
Might wish to check out California state laws concerning breakdowns on the highways. Troopers have front bumper guards designed to push breakdowns off the roadways.
Now that'll teach 'em. You have to admit that's a fairly practical approach to the problem! The original source was complaining about commercial haulers breaking down. An eighteen -wheeler stalled in the left lane is a bit more of a problem.

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