Autos can be made safer and quicker.

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Use of lightweight materials for vehicle manufacture, such as carbon composites used in race cars, can make them safer. In addition, they will use less fuel and accelerate quicker.
Listen to the following 30 minute radio program: http://www.netcastdaily.com/broadcast/fsn2004-1127-2.mp3 and/or read http://www.oilendgame.org /
This technology can move the US towards compliance with the Kyoto Agreement.
US Citizens: Write your US congressman and ask them to do the following:
1) Encourage DOT and DOE to back lightweight auto technology by making a public statement.
2) Make research funds available to refine lightweight auto manufacturing techniques.
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Ed Earl Ross opined in

Ummm... screw Kyoto!
Anyone who pays attention knows that this crap is primarily US bashing... and the science is flawed.
Very UN-ish in that respect.
Besides that, you must look at the engineering involved in adopting carbon composites into crash-worthiness... lighter IS NOT safer and the very different characteristics make it a major feat to design crumple-zone components... most of which may be able to be overcome by improved air-bag technology but that is still a question.
Look, I'm all in favor of the technology... but let's be reasonable, and I'm NOT just talking about the increased costs.
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Backyard Mechanic wrote:

Requiring driving proficiency BEFORE issuing operator licenses seems like a good idea to me. Every year - year after year, more US people die in traffic accidents than did on 9/11. Many in very hideous ways.
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FanJet opined

Good idea, but very flawed in reality...
Where is one to acquire this proficiency? Ever try to practice skid recovery, lately?
If you do it on the street, you're inviting reckless operation/ failure to control charges.
If you do it on an empty shopping center parking lot, you may be charged as well... or taken to court for trespass.
For that... thank your local bar association.
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Backyard Mechanic wrote:

Real driving schools & instructors is the answer. You don't get an operator's license unless your proficient. Proficient on a Focus isn't the same as proficient on an H2 either. The problem is easily solved. It isn't either because the losses are considered acceptable and/or not enough people are interested - the former and latter are approximately equivalent.
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| Real driving schools & instructors is the answer. You don't get an | operator's license unless your proficient. Proficient on a Focus isn't the | same as proficient on an H2 either. The problem is easily solved. It isn't | either because the losses are considered acceptable and/or not enough people | are interested - the former and latter are approximately equivalent. | |
Likely no one wants to pay the cost for such a program. Salaries, land, track, icing systems, maintenance, etc. Does anyone know if the "Ice Driving" schools are still in operation in Colorado?
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James C. Reeves wrote:

it drink," that seems applicable to me. IMO, most auto wrecks are driver induced. Thus, one would think that education would help. However, drinking and driving is one example of a behavior that everyone knows is dangerous, yet people still do it. Neither heavy fines, classes enforced by a judge, nor loss of license eliminate the behavior.
My favorite adage is, "Stupidity should be fatal." Unfortunately, drunk drivers often kill other, innocent, people. IMO, making safer cars is for the innocent. When an informed person behaves badly on the road and dies, it's tough on their family, but they asked for it.
Drunk driving is only one of these bad behaviors. There are many others.
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This is true. One seriously dangerous thing to do is smoking while driving. I was recently rear-ended by someone (just a fender bender), and the reason she hit me was because she'd dropped her cigarette and was reaching under the seat to try and get it.
I smoke in the car aswell, but after that incident, I've curbed it quite a bit.
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| This is true. One seriously dangerous thing to do is smoking while driving. | I was recently rear-ended by someone (just a fender bender), and the reason | she hit me was because she'd dropped her cigarette and was reaching under | the seat to try and get it. | | I smoke in the car aswell, but after that incident, I've curbed it quite a | bit. | |
Too bad she didn't ignite the beaver fur. THAT would teach her a lesson!
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James C. Reeves wrote:

There are lots of things I pay for that I'd rather not. Not sure why we don't come right out and say it: the losses are considered acceptable. It's the only answer since it's obvious that we know how and can fix the problem.
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No, quite wrong. This isn't how the American political system works. The vast majority of Americans were NOT in favor of Prohibition but a minority of religious nutcases got it passed anyway.
The problem with the safety is that we all know how to make it safer and it doesen't involve expensive driving schools. What needs to be done is several things. First, mandate a driving test every 2 years - an assisted test with an instructor that has some leeway to make an informed judgement. Such a test would not be expensive and in addition a retest should be mandatory after ANY traffic violation. This should drop to yearly after age 75.
Second, make a 2 strikes your out rule with alcohol violations. In short, you get 1 DUI but the second one means your license is gone - forever. And in order to avoid mandatory jail time you must present a bill of sale for any vehicle titled in your name within 90 days of a conviction. If the vehicle is jointly titled by you and your wife then it must be retitled in her name only. (or vis-versa if she's the drunk) And you will never be permitted to own a passenger vehicle again. (Commercial vehicles excepted with a statement showing that someone else drives the vehicle for a salary)
Third, if your under 18 you are not permitted to drive after dark or after 9:00pm, whichever is later.
But, you will never see any of these 3 things happening, because you run afoul of some very powerful lobbies:
AARP - they generally fight any meaningful regulations that would take licenses away from older people, Beer & Wine industry, who want people out in bars drinking and who's answwer has been to call a cab for intoxicated people, which is an impossible proposition as the person's car is then stuck at the bar, and the Restaurant industry who make their living off minimum wage labor that works late and a bevy of high schoolers spending their evenings eating out.
Ted
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will change nothing on safety. Your point on prohibition is true, but you failed to point out that the total failure of prohibition was that it caused the highest and longest lasting crime spree in the U.S. history. The fact is people now just like then will ignore the rules and laws and do what they want. You can not legislate safety. It does not work. People will drive with out license just as they do now. People will drive with out insurance just as they do now. People will ignore the rules and laws of the highway just as they do now no matter how "safe" the vehicle is made to be. That safe vehicle is only as safe as the operator. Look around you as you drive, the vast majority of operators including cops are as unsafe now as they have ever been. The fact is most every body wants to put the responsibility on some one else, not them selves including the creator of the original post in this thread. We don't need safer vehicles we need safer operators. Laws will not do that. Making a super safe vehicle will not do that. A change in attitude of the population will, but that wont happen any time soon.
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"pick one" <try again!> wrote in message

No, I didn't. Show me ANY state where you can lose your drivers license permanently, never to regain it again. (short of putting you in life in prison)
Show me any state that has really meaningful impoundment laws where if they catch you in a vehicle and your not supposed to be driving they tow it and sell the vehicle, then reimburse the owner, less towing and sale fees.
Here's a quote for you:
To us, the 'great laboratory of the states' continues to be a disappointment in not keeping its promises to crime victims." --Roberta Roper, president of the Maryland Crime Victim Resource Center and National Victims Constitutional Amendment Passage's co-chair

OK, here's another one:
MADD Concerned with Implications of U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Drunk Driving
"..A drunk driver knows or should know that getting behind the wheel will likely cause serious injury or death to him/herself or innocent people on the roadways. In MADD's opinion, as well as the opinions of several state courts, this conduct is enough to raise the culpability level to that of a violent crime..."
The reason that current safety laws for vehicle operation don't work is simply that they aren't draconian enough. Unless you do something actually horrible, such as deliberately running down your ex-wife, your going to get your car back, espically if the car your in belongs to someone else. And the same goes with the licensing, if your caught repeatedly drinking.
What the US culture has decided to do is punish drunks that repeatedly drunk drive by fineing the hell out of them. The thought has always been that prisons are for violent criminals and if the guy is just some schmoe that gets sauced a few times a year and drives his beater into the ditch, that he isn't going to get jail time.
How many states out there routinely setup roadblocks on major roads after midnight and do sobriety tests on everyone that goes through them?

Um, crime is in the eye of the beholder. A Liquor seller pre-Prohibition wasn't a criminal, during Prohibition he became a criminal in the eyes of the law. No wonder the crime rate skyrocketed, your now counting a whole lot more people as criminals who aren't acting any differently than they were previously.
But in any case, this is a side issue - what the value of Prohibition was is that it really serves as proof positive that in the United States, that democracy doesen't work a lot of times. Too many people like to cling to the belief that here in the US it's always majority rule and the government is always going to follow the wishes of the majority, that simply isn't true.

That is an axiom, yes, but the thing is, that it's a matter of percentages.
Prohibition failed because the percentages were all wrong - you had 80% of the population that was opposed to it, 20% for it. The 20% got their way in the political process, but the fact is that you can win the war but unless you have the suppport of the majority of the population you will still be unable to govern what you won - as the US is once again relearning with Iraq.
Drunk driving and reckless driving is an entirely different thing altogether. 80% of the populace is most definitely not in favor of it.
And meaningful speed laws are the same thing. Sure we all know that speed kills, but an across the board speed limit is unrealistic. The maximum road speeds should be all set MUCH higher than they are - and the "acceptable speed for prevaling conditions" laws need to be enforced. In other words, if it's a bright sunny day and the traffic is light I should not be cited for going 60Mph on a 2 lane feeder road (which right now would be marked 45) but if it's a stormy day and traffic is heavy I should be cited for going 35Mph on that same road, despite the speed sign being marked 60Mph speed limit.
If the speeding laws had meaningful reform than you would in fact see 80% of the populace support their inforcement. Because speed limit laws today are mainly designed as feel-good political items, and most of the populace knows this, there is little support for them, which is why everyone breaks them.

That is absolutely not true. You can set your laws so that they actually produce safe results, and demonstrate this to the citizenry, and then only the minority are going to continue to break them. And the majority will then support getting that minority off the streets, permanently.
What you CANNOT do is legislate unrealistic and unfair laws and expect people to respect your legislative ability.
We have a real problem with this in the United States today. People seem to think now that just because they don't like something that they can just legislate it out of existence. This is where all the laws against stem cell research, death with dignity, and so forth are coming from. People know that these laws are political and are not based on fairness, and so they don't respect them, and as a result they figure if the congressional representatives are making laws that benefit their friends and line the rep's pockets, then why should I respect ANY laws coming out of them?
Look at the whole problem with motorcycle helmet laws in the country. It is a fact that helmets save lives. But in most of the states that implemented helmet laws, it was done with an "us non-motorcycle riders know what's best for you dumb idiots that are riding bikes so we are going to stuff this law down your throats" attitude. So no wonder the riders fought them.
If the states that put in helmet laws had actually conducted meaningful helmet education campaigns - keeping in mind that such campaigns take years to successfully carry out - and gotten the buyoff of the riding community, then you wouldn't see any support for the dumb minority of riders who run around and try to convince you that a helmet is going to kill them.

And when they get repeatedly caught for doing this then sent to prison, they will stop doing it as they cannot drive a car in prison.
Try explaining to the Tokyo police sometime how useless it is to enforce laws against throwing cigarette butts on the sidewalk.

I am not talking about making vehicles safer by modifying their structure or passing laws requiring automakers to do it. I am talking about making vehicles safer by getting the minority of dangerous drivers - dangerous because they are drunks, or because they are half-blind, or because they are stupid - off the road.

That is just not true. Listen, in any given population there's a percentage of people who for one reason or another just cannot make safe vehicle operators. Maybe they are morons, maybe they are addicted to some drug like meth or alcohol, maybe they are too old to drive, maybe they are too young to have any brains to drive. Maybe they have been given the chance to drive then repeatedly muffed it. Maybe they never learned to drive properly.
These people have to be weeded out and the only way you can do this is with laws. Unless you get them off the street you won't have safer operators. Now, maybe some of this group can be rehabilitated - addicts can go off the sauce permanently lots of them have, the ignorant can be trained, the blind can have cataract surgery and see again. But, the law shouldn't give a crap about it - it should be telling those people - either you do what you need to do to meet the standard, or go to hell.
The problem today is that the big corporations make a lot of money off promoting the idea that every man, woman, and child in the US no matter what has a God-given right to own a car and drive it on the highway. You can't watch an hour of TV without seeing a car advert that has this as a central theme.
And the insurance companies make a lot more money off no-fault insurance so they have a vested interest in seeing that all the blame in an accident doesen't fall on one party, as long as there's no medical claims. They don't want to see one of the drivers blamed. They want to have an excuse to have both drivers blamed so that nobody can say "gee that one fella he's too unsafe to be owning car, we should prevent him from ever driving again" they would rather both drivers be blamed, just not too much, so that they both keep driving, and paying insurance.
So, the corporations have modified the law so that it sets up no real barrier to getting a drivers license, or owning a vehicle, or keeping a vehicle. Nor does it do much when those vehicle users and owners misuse their vehicles, unless someone gets really hurt, and sometimes not even much then. After all, to an automaker, a driver that has just smashed his car into the guardrail is a potential customer for a new car! Perish the thought that we might prevent him from every buying another to replace the one he smashed!
Ted
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Don't know the number but it does happen. New York for one. But you know, just like I said, it means nothing. The people drive anyway as soon as they are able too.

Not only is the vehicel towed but you go directly to jail.

drive even after dooing time. Short of killing these people you can do nothing, they do not care.

I do not know of that happening, there are ALWAYS arrest made.

Yea, crime you can say is in the eye of the beholder, but at that time it was illegal, so a crime. The point being is that people did it any way law or no law.

You finally said something mostly true. But I will point out the founding papers refer to this as a republic not as a majority count democracy.

The percentages are on my side. Just look out your window at how people drive.

Write your congressman, maybe hell change it just for you.

Show where it has happened, we already have plenty of examples where it does not.

Because you feel its ok that laws ought to be made just for your belief? You can not have it all your way.

I've never heard the helmet is going to kill you crap. The fact is every body I know who voted to repeal helmets laws did it to say "it's my choice". They know that the helmet can potentially prevent head injury. The same reason people do not put on the safety restraints in there own cars and trucks, they know that it can potentially prevent some injuries they do not buckle up out of choice law or no law. No education need, they already know. The fact is that the percentage of uneducated people who think that a helmet can injure you is small, if any at all.

When they get out they drive. It happens get your head out of the sand.

Different place different attitudes, I said there has to be an attitude change, it aint going to happen.

Aint going to happen. Look at our law makers Ted Kennedy comes to mind.

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"pick one" <try again!> wrote in message

Wrong. There is no permanent loss of a standard passenger car license in New York. See here:
3. If so, what is the length of the suspension or revocation? For drug-related offenses, six months. N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law 510(2)(b)(v). For driving while ability impaired, 90 days for the first conviction or six months for a prior conviction within the previous five years or two prior convictions within the previous ten years; for driving while intoxicated or ability impaired by drugs - six months for a first conviction or one year for a prior conviction within the previous ten years. N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law 1193(2).

That is why the only way to make a revocation effective is to strike at the heart of the matter and make sure that the person that has lost their licence loses their vehicle as well and is prevented from owning another.
And of course, I'm not talking about stuff like an administrative suspension. Many states use administrative suspensions - Oregon for example - these are license suspensions, but not criminal suspensions. They use them for things like if you don't pay parking fines and other tickets and such, and there is no time limit - once you pay up or whatever the suspension is lifted.
I'm talking about a criminal suspension, because you have been convicted for a traffic crime such as a DUI.
Since the states issue the car title why do they issue titles to people who aren't allowed to drive a car - because they have a revoked or suspended license? It's absolutely crazy.

How about TAKING AWAY THEIR CAR. Who's car are they caught driving? Their girlfriends? Don't you think that if girlfriend loses her car because boyfriend was driving with a revoked license this might possibly result in loss-of-pussy-availability to boyfriend, who then might become motivated to not drive girlfriends next car again?
Obviously there's some work that needs to be done to flesh this kind of idea out, you have to put appropriate safeguards in. Maybe boyfriend was driving gf's car without permission - in which case for this excuse to work, gf has to press charges for auto theft- or something.

:-) Ok, this is the "everybody drives like crap except for me" argument. I have to admit this argument appeals to me - because after all everyone does drive like crap, except for me. You included. ;-)

Actually, the state I live in is a Western state and as such we have a different attitude about speeding in the government than a lot of Easterners. I know this as I periodically follow what the committee in the dept of transport does in my state. When we western states got together and forced the rest of the country to revoke 55Mph, it triggered a long range plan within the department to gradually raise speeds out here. There has been some legislation passed within the last few years - quietly, without public fanfare - that has given some specific direction to raise speeds. And as a result on the Interstates the speeds have, in fact, risen several times since the end of 55Mph. They are very careful where this is done, and it's only done where there's clearly no risk of increased accidents.
But, what I'm talking about is a political shift in how speed limits are viewed by the general public. Most of the GP seems to have the same idea you do about speed - higher speeds are fine for ME but NOT for everyone else on the road. Very few of the GP understand that speed limits need to be raised for everyone, not just themselves.

Well, look at the cocaine laws for one. The majority understands cocaine is a bad drug and the majority supports laws against it, that's why we have 'em.

Precisely, I'm glad you have grasped it. This is correct - the conservatives that want laws paying money to religious schools, in clear violation of separation of church and state, have no more right to have these laws than the liberals do to have laws like the kyoto treaty that limits emissions of pollutants, yet does it in a way that allows some of the favorite countries to continue to pollute without restraint.
People understand this, they know that both these kinds of laws are bad law, as they are personal beliefs. It destroys the respect for the law when EITHER side does this. When conservatives try to pass laws that usurp states rights by making things like death with dignity illegal, it erodes respect for law, and when liberals try to pass laws that block the rights of oil companies to drill in Alaskan land that they have legally purchased, it also erodes respect for the law.

You aren't around bikers much, then. The usual line is that the helmet restricts my vision and I can't see as well, so I'm more likely to have an accident.

Some did, and this was what I was talking about. It disgusts most real bikers to see idiots in tee-shirts and no helmets riding down the street, and if we had crafted the helmet laws to get these morons off the road, then we wouldn't be voting against our own law. But the helmet laws in general were crafted by non-riders to make non-riders feel good about them, and have little to do with safety.
For example, the laws require helments sure - but only DOT-approved. The problem is that motorcycle helmets that ONLY meet DOT standards are completely unsafe. To be safe a motorcycle helmet needs at minimum to meet Snell standards. By not requiring this, it is obvious the helmet laws don't give a crap what you wear on your head, they don't give a crap if what your wearing actually works. In short, feel-good laws that do nothing to make anything safer.

There is a limit to this when every time they get out of prison and start driving they get caught and sent back for a longer and longer time, eventually they never get out again. This is called setting an example and that is one of the functions of prisons, a function that in our modern society a lot of people have missed. Not everybody though - a number of states have in fact passed get-tough laws over the last decade and there are some states (like Oregon) that have rules now that repeated lawbreaking will eventually put you permanently behind bars. Even if the crime is minor. For an example, look up 'measure 11' crimes in Oregon in your favorite search engine.

After Vietnam people said the government would never go to war again.
At one time people's careers could be destroyed by someone claiming they were a commie Red.
At one time people thought the world was safer the more nuclear bombs their country had.
At one time people actually paid good money to listen to Elvis Presley.
At one time people didn't think that it affected childrens development for them to watch a lot of TV
Things change.

He ain't going to live forever and who is going to follow him? Hell the Kennedy family is about played out in politics anyway, a Kennedy hasn't had national power in what, 3 decades or longer?
Attitude shifts go on in the US society all the time and people don't realize it, because they happen so slowly that people don't realize they are happening. The large corporations are very skilled at engineering these, why do you think that today people have so much credit card debt? Can you imagine 150 years ago the early pioneers that settled the country sat around saying "Gee, I really need to dump my used but still working plow and run out and buy the newest model I just saw, so that I can establish credit!" So tell me, how did we get from that - to today?
Still believe attitude changes don't happen?
Ted
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Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

Arkansas Minnesota Kansas Colorado Illinois Texas New Jersey
And these are just the states that showed up in a simple google search.

Now you're upping the ante. In fact, you never mentioned mandated impoundment in your original post. Are you that unsure of yourself that you need to make your standards a moving target?
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Ah, sorry for playing but none of these permanently revoke them - Kansas does have a permanent revocation law on the books - but the list of exceptions to it is a mile long, they offer hardship licenses (that have to be approved by the court and your parole officer) that allow limited driving. And it takes FIVE dui's to even get to this point. Wanna bet on how many people make it to 5 DUI's without having a major accident?
The original post stated:
"In short, you get 1 DUI but the second one means your license is gone - forever"
Now let's see here:
Arkansas:
. Does the state revoke or suspend the drivers' licenses of people convicted of drug-related offenses? Yes, Arkansas suspends operators' licenses. Ark. Code Ann. 27-16-915(b)(1)(A). 2. If so, what crime(s) result in suspension or revocation? Any drug-related offense, including illegal possession. Ark. Code Ann. 27-16-915(b)(1)(A).
3. If so, what is the length of the suspension or revocation? Six months. Ark. Code Ann. 27-16-915(b)(1)(A).
Minnesota:
. Does the state revoke or suspend the drivers' licenses of people convicted of drug-related offenses? Yes, the state revokes driver's licenses for drug related offenses, including driving while impaired. Minn. Stat. 152.0271, 169A.54(1) and 171.172. 2. If so, what crime(s) result in suspension or revocation? Drug sale or possession while driving a vehicle and driving while impaired. Minn. Stat. 152.0271 and 169A.54(1).
3. If so, what is the length of the suspension or revocation? Thirty days to two years, depending upon time elapsed since prior offenses. Minn. Stat. 152.0271, 169A.54(1) and 171.172.
Kansas:
1. Does the state revoke or suspend the drivers' licenses of people convicted of drug-related offenses? Kansas passed a resolution on 11/10/2000 in opposition to enacting a law called for by the federal statute in order to receive certain federal highway funds. However, the state does revoke drivers' licenses for driving-related alcohol and drug-related offenses. Kan. Stat. Ann. 8-1014(b).
2. If so, what crime(s) result in suspension or revocation? Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Kan. Stat. Ann. 8-1014(b).
3. If so, what is the length of the suspension or revocation? The drivers licenses of first-time offenders are suspended for 30 days and then restricted for an additional 330 days. Second and subsequent convictions result in suspensions of one year. On the fifth or subsequent occurrence, driving privileges are permanently revoked. Kan. Stat. Ann. 8-1014(b). The drivers licenses of first-offenders who are less than 21 years of age are suspended for one year. Kan. Stat. Ann. 8-1014(c).
Colorado:
1. Does the state revoke or suspend the drivers' licenses of people convicted of drug-related offenses? Yes, the state revokes drivers' licenses based upon drug-related offenses. Colo. Rev. Stat. 42-2-125(1)(b) and (1)(k)(I).
2. If so, what crime(s) result in suspension or revocation? Driving under the influence of a controlled substance or while a habitual controlled substance user and a range of drug-related offenses. Colo. Rev. Stat. 42-2-125(1)(b) and (1)(k)(I).
3. If so, what is the length of the suspension or revocation? Not less than one year. Colo. Rev. Stat. 42-2-125(2).
Illinois:
1. Does the state revoke or suspend the drivers' licenses of people convicted of drug-related offenses? Illinois passed a resolution on November 9, 2000 in opposition to enacting a law called for by the federal statute in order to receive certain federal highway funds. However, the state does revoke drivers' licenses for drug-related offenses. 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-201(a)(7) and 5/6-205(a)(2).
2. If so, what crime(s) result in suspension or revocation? Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and drug-related convictions while in physical control of a motor vehicle. 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-201(a)(7) and 5/6-205(a)(2).
3. If so, what is the length of the suspension or revocation? Individuals may apply for restoration after one year. 625 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/6-208 and 5/6-206.1.
Texas:
1. Does the state revoke or suspend the drivers' licenses of people convicted of drug-related offenses? Texas passed a resolution on 5/4/2001 in opposition to enacting a law called for by the federal statute in order to receive certain federal highway funds. However, the state does revoke drivers' licenses for drug-related offenses. Tex. Transp. Code Ann. 521.341 and .372.
2. If so, what crime(s) result in suspension or revocation? Driving under the influence and a range of drug-related offenses. Tex. Transp. Code Ann. 521.341 and .372.
3. If so, what is the length of the suspension or revocation? For drug-related offenses: one hundred and eighty days; for driving under the influence: a period not exceeding one year. Tex. Transp. Code Ann. 521.312, .341, and .372.
New Jersey:
1. Does the state revoke or suspend the drivers' licenses of people convicted of drug-related offenses? Yes, individuals convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for drug-related offenses forfeit their driving privileges. N.J. Stat. Ann. 2C:35-16.
2. If so, what crime(s) result in suspension or revocation? Any drug-related offense. N.J. Stat. Ann. 2C:35-16.
3. If so, what is the length of the suspension or revocation? Six months to two years. N.J. Stat. Ann. 2C:35-16.

I said:
"And in order to avoid mandatory jail time you must present a bill of sale for any vehicle titled in your name within 90 days of a conviction."
"And you will never be permitted to own a passenger vehicle again."
Quite obviously, if this ISN'T done then what, you think no problem, let's just let it slide? If the original owner doesen't sell it by the deadline you gonna do nothing? Sorry if you thought that's what I meant.
For a law like this to mean anything, the vehicle MUST be sold, no matter what the owner does. If he refuses and you have to send him to jail, that makes no difference to the sale process, it still commences. To be done legally means it has to be impounded so someone can sell it. It only makes good sense to wait 90 days before impoundment commences to give the owner a chance to sell it.
Do the research. Permanent revocation of passenger car drivers licenses is a myth. Besides which for the few states that do revoke them, those states honor other states licenses - so in the case of Kansas, you just move to another state, get your license there, and bingo, your legal to drive in Kansas again.
The penalties are much more severe for commercial drivers licenses, and in fact it isn't hard to get a CDL permanently revoked, just drive drunk a few times and a lot of places will do it.
Face the facts - the laws are simply not written this way for typical passenger car licenses. I happen to be a proponent of reforming criminals rather than incarcerating them for the rest of their lives, for many offenses. But, when it comes to vehicle safety crimes, particularly drunk driving which is responsible for a huge number of accidents, it is simply asinine to not adopt a policy of 2 strikes and your out. For God's sakes man, the highways are crowded with too much traffic as it is. We need fewer, not more, cars on the road. Why bend over backwards to get people back in their vehicles and back on the streets when they are caught drinking and driving a second time?!? Are there no busses? Is there no mass transit? Get them out of their cars and decrease the surplus auto population!!! ;-)
Ted
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FanJet wrote:

That a heavier vehicle is safer than a lighter vehicle is true-all other things being equal. However, other factors are important too For example, auto.consumerguide.com/auto/editorial/advice/index.cfm/act/safety states the following:     "Fatality rates are highest for smaller cars, SUVs, and pickups. Vehicle size, weight, and driver demographics all play a role in real-world safety."
In other words, a mid sized car is safer than a much heavier SUV or pickup. In addition, a 1550 pound Indy car is survivable in a 200+ mph crash. Whereas, a survival in a pickup crash at 200 mph is a miracle, a vehicle that weighs 3000+ pounds.
My posting mentioned carbon composites. If anyone had read the book at www.oilendgame.org or listened to the other URL, they would recognize that carbon composites are only one example of a lightweight safe technology. The book specifically mentions that use of other lightweight materials is possible.
One reason carbon composite objects are expensive is they are invariably hand made; another is the raw materials are not mass produced in quantities needed for autos. Automating production and increasing raw material quantity may not make carbon composites less expensive than steel, but it should make them very much less expensive than they are now.
I am not an expert on global warming. Consequently, I try to listen to the scientists and err on the side of caution--especially if it doesn't cost anything. That we may, also, meet objectives of the Kyoto Agreement is a nice side effect, not the main goal.
The book "Winning the Oil Endgame" at www.oilendgame.org was funded by US corporations and the pentagon. It is a plan for improving the US businesses and improving our economy.
Once before, US manufacturers let the Japanese take over the auto market with innovation. This book shows a chance for them to innovate and regain some market share.
IMO, US auto manufacturers need to hear from the market place, you and I, to encourage them to innovate and improve our market ASAP. Mercedes is already working on the technology. US auto manufacturers need to act quickly.

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One of the big problem with using plastics in auto body manufacturing, whether carbon composites or pop bottle plastic is the recycling. Despite what the plastics industry would have you believe, it costs more in money to recycle plastic than it's worth. This isn't true of steel.
As a result, large scale use of plastics in cars would create a huge disposal problem.
Right now there's many cities where there's thousands of abandonded vehicles - the car breaks down and the joker that was driving it around just dumps it, 6 months later the city tows it and sells it at auction to a wrecker, for about as much money as it cost to tow it off, the wrecker crushes it and makes a small profit on the deal for sale of scrap steel.
You go to increase in plastic component in vehicles then it turns into a pay-for-disposal. So all the sudden you create a big incentive for the jokers to just abandon the used-up vehicles in the street, instead of trying to limp them into a wrecker for a few bucks, now your saddling the cities the full costs of disposals, and towing for each vehicle. And the wrecking yards now have great incentive to not crush the vehicles just let them stack up, so you turn the wrecking industry into one where it's routine to have gigantic fields of plastic cars, and the yard declares bankruptcy and goes out of business. Now your creating just another SuperFund site.
So sure - we solve one problem - decreasing greenhouse gasses - and exchange it for a huge other problem of landfill disposal.
And all this ignores the fact that it's only 10% of the vehicles on the roads that produce the majority of the pollution in the first place.
If you really want to decrease vehicle pollution what you do is make emissions testing mandatory and uniform across the entire US, which now will prevent people with polluting cars from just registering them in addresses outside testing areas, and you get rid of emissions exceptions, so people no longer can just keep going back and going back to the state and buying another 2 month temporary use permit, and you jack up the taxes on SUV's and other high-polluting vehicles and give tax rebates on purchases of economy and other lower-polluting vehicles.
And in the long term, requiring emissions control components to be standardized would help a great deal too. For example the US government could quite easily only allow 4 different models of catalyatic converters to be used in auto manufacturing - 4 individual sizes/shapes/styles. This would commoditize catalyatic converter manufacturing much like automotive battery manufacturing has been commoditized, thus greatly decreasing the price of converter replacement.
If you look at emissions repair work one of the big bugaboos is how fragile the converters are - if the car is mistuned and runs too rich or too lean for months or years at a time, the converter gets fried or sooted up and fails. Yet the converter is a hugely expensive part - so expensive that it encourages people with non-passing vehicles to find some way around the emissions testing, rather than spending money on repair.

The Kyoto Agreement is seriously flawed as it basically allows the world's economy to make no allowance for pollution control. It is a mere shell game to say that well we reduced pollution over here so we are polluting less, meanwhile pay no attention to that developing country behind the curtain that is polluting up a storm.
The idea behind the agreement is that we are going to assume the developing countries like China are going to have a heavy concentration of heavy polluting industries like for example, metal smelters. So we are going to let them have some credit until they join the ranks of the developed countries and can move into an information economy and export their smelters to some other developing country.
The problem with this is that the world cannot function without smelters. Not every country can have an information economy that creates no pollution. The reason that smelters locate in developing countries is precisely because since there aren't pollution controls, it's cheaper for them.
If pollution controls were the same for ALL countries, regardless of status of development, it would not be as much of an economic attraction for smelters to locate in places like China, because they would have to pay the same for pollution controls no matter where in the world they would locate. Thus, it might be economically attractive to have some smelters located here in the US. Now you are changing the global economy so that businesses suffer the SAME handicaps for pollution no matter WHERE they are located, so you stop the flow of outsourcing, and now you make it so that ALL industries, both information-based, and smelter-based, can develop equally in all locations. Granted, prices for some items are going to rise as those industries now have to pay for pollution controls and so pass along the cost to consumers - but this is a good thing too as it forces consumers to decrease consumption of the products that manufacture creates a lot of pollution to begin with.

The auto market is about as poor a market as possible for any of these examples that you can select because it is SO public and thus so political, that a huge set of regulations in all countries effectively blocks any one countries automakers from taking over the market.
Even if in the US, for the next 5 years US consumers simply stopped buying domestic autos and only bought foreign makes, well in a twinking the laws would be adjusted to that most R&D, assembly, and design of those vehicles would be forced to take place in the US, thus making them pretty much equivalent to a domestic vehicle today.
The truth is that the US government permitted the Japanese automakers to gain significant market share in the US to cause competition with the domestic makers. If you were alive in the 70's and recalled the disaster that was the US auto market then - for 10 years Detroit ignored consumers demands and continued to run the US market like a monopoly market - the only way to get Detroit to get back to being competitive was to allow competition in - ie: the Japanese. Once Detroit got the message and started getting competitive, Japanese growth into the US market slowed and became static.

IMO you don't know what your talking about. The only way that you and I can encourage the US automakers to do anything is by our selection of NEW car purchases. If your buying used cars you don't count. If you don't like what the US manufacturers are producing, then purchase a new Mercedes and be happy with it.
In the meantime Detroit is going to do what makes them money and if that happens to coincide with what is in some book, great. If not, then so what. And it's to the US's economies benefit to have domestic automakers that are profitable, and adding to the economy, not building products that some book specifies that may or may not be attractive to the new car buyer market.
Ted
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Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:

that deserves to be fought. There are two alternatives, give up or not.
If you still have one of the good jobs (e.g., auto manufacturing), you may feel it is OK to give up. On the other hand, if you are currently looking for a good job, there is little reason give up. Emailing your congressman takes only a little time.
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