A police report out of St. Petersburg, Florida, reveals the current
state of the U.S. car culture. Two would-be carjackers robbed a
45-year-old man and his 24-year-old girlfriend after they had dropped
off the man?s work truck.
As the couple was getting ready to leave two men appeared, one on each
side. They demanded money and a cell phone. One of them wielded a
handgun and told the couple to get out of the woman?s 2007 Nissan.
Neither of the thieves was prepared for what was next: the Nissan?s
third pedal and stick shift. The two men quickly gave up and ran off on
foot. The pair made off with a cell phone, but alas no money, or the car.
Many years ago (in a galaxy far far away) California planned to offer
two different driver tests. One for those who knew how to drive a
standard shift and one for the rest. The drivers license would be so
annotated that if you were certified for auto and you were driving a
standard, you got cited and the car impounded until someone who could
drive it bailed it out. The reason? A lot of young drivers were taking
the test in Mom's automatic and then going out and buying a standard
which they couldn't control, thus increasing the accident, injury and
death rates. Unfortunately, the liberals considered that to be
discrimination. I wonder how many young drivers might have been saved
a lifetime of grief.
Decades later, new rules were instituted for young drivers which
limited the hours they could be on the road, who could be in the car
with them, etc. We still lose kids, but it seems we lose fewer.
As years go by, I've wondered about
Auto service centers (actually had to go 'round the back of a Ford
dealership to get my own car, because the kid that was supposed to bring it
around for me couldn't drive stick)
or any other situation where someone other than yourself has to drive your
manual transmission car. It's becoming a lost skill, no question. On the
flip side, with all of the improvements and changes made to automatics,
selectable automatics, manual-shift automatics, etc etc, I'm wondering
whether I would know how to drive one of those so-equipped cars.
My recent test drive of a new Corvette had me playing with paddles for
while until I finally got it.
Nice thing about new manuals is they're easier. My GT's clutch and
gearing are so smooth it's much easier to take off with out even
giving in any gas. A nice thing when you're creeping in traffic. And
I've seen some new cars are coming out with "hill control" so it won't
roll back when the clutch is engaged.
Have some real "fun", get a three-on-the-tree car. I am so glad my '73
is finally exempt from emissions testing. First they find the one
person in the place that can drive an MT and then they look at it and
don't have a clue... I then have to teach that person how to drive it a
few feet because government regulations didn't permit me to do it.
First is down and towards you... you have to put it in reverse to
remove the key...
If you can operate a video game, you can. Just find where the buttons
On Sat, 10 Dec 2011 10:59:57 -0500, "dwight"
Adults can fend for themselves. They have enough experience in most
things to make decisions, right or wrong.
The same can not be said of a "child" who is just beginning to drive.
Adults know that things like cell phones are distracting, and having
other teens in the car is distracting, but a new driver doesn't.
I am not for more government. I just know that our local schools have
lost a lot of A students over a moments distraction.
I wouldn't send a newbie who is learning to handle explosives out with
other newbies to learn the hard way. A vehicle is a deadly weapon. Not
just for the driver and passengers, but also for a large number of
innocent people... and around schools, that means kids.
As one who has suffered the loss of my 12 year old son under the
wheels of a school bus whose driver was "distracted" by cars which
would not allow her to pull away from the curb - so she used the
sidewalk upon which my son was standing... I am all about protecting
As a police officer who has had to investigate far too many such
losses and had to deal with the parents, I am all about protecting
And let's be clear about it. The government may lower the age of what
is considered an adult, but I don't see an adult at any age until they
have the experience and knowledge needed to make adult decisions.
On Sat, 10 Dec 2011 11:04:07 -0500, "dwight"
My65 is in the shop right now (hopefully ready tomorrow) and I am
driving a new Lincoln Townecar. There are more buttons, dials, levers,
etc than I know what to do with. It's an automatic. I had to get some
advice on how to get in it after I saw the key pad on the door... yet
in my hand was a compact little remote. LOL I have not even listened
to the radio yet. Compared to my 65, I feel like I'm steering the
Queen Mary. I can't even feel the road when I hit a bump.
I WANT MY 65 BACK!
Used to be that "Hill Control" was the stock way to tune your car. You
put it on an incline and set it up so it would not roll backward while
in gear. Made pulling out from a stop sign on a hill a lot easier..
especially in places like San Francisco or Seattle.
It's getting harder and harder to find a mechanic who knows how to
tune a carb.... and a good share of the dealerships hire kids to move
the cars around, and they are totally lost. Ahhhh Just wait until the
whole worldwide system of electronics crashes. The shade tree
mechanics will rule! :0)
My broker said I should invest in gold, silver, and other prescious
metals. I said, give me brass and lead. With bullets, I can get
whatever I want. LOL
And who gets to decide? You? A locally-appointed board of commissioners?
Does an 18-year-old have to re-take a driving test to qualify for a manual
transmission and, if so, what about the 30-something who's buying his first
Or is a 30-something automatically assumed to be an adult ('cause I could
argue that point, too)?
And I still laugh when I hear that some video game or the other is "rated
mature." That's funny, and another topic.
And the age of a 'child' keeps going up and up.
A new driver is a new driver regardless of age.
Perhaps it's time to reconsider fear based driver's ed?
Imagine for a moment that explosives training taught practically nothing
about handling them, wiring them up, etc and so forth but instead
focused on making the students fearful of explosives, that handling them
fast will kill them, and showing them the results of accidents with
explosives. Would that result in graduates who knew how to use
explosives safely and competently?
The problem is that driver's ed is faulty so that the learning happens
on the road when they are driving by themselves or with their friends.
Early in the age of the automobile, when they were far more difficult to
handle and far less safe 12 year olds managed to use them competently.
Age is not relevant, but ability, training, and experience. Age is just
a rough indicator of development and often a poor one.
I for one am tired of being less and less free and seeing young people
more and more restricted to later and later ages because people make
decisions based on emotions. Sad things happen, but they cannot be
prevented with increasing levels of government dumbing things down while
micromanaging our lives. What we do get is ever less capable people who
end up doing dumber and dumber things requiring more and more laws and
more and more oversight.
The government keeps acting to retard people into a condition of
childhood for their entire lives. Oddly enough, government gets to be
In article , "dwight"
--- Snip a bit ---
--- Snip a bit more ---
I would say that anyone _of_any_age_ driving a car with a manual trans,
has to have the manual trans endorsement, just like most states require
a motor cycle endorsement, or heavy truck, bus, etc. I think that is an
You get no argument from me about government intrusion. I think a M/C
rider has the right to decide whether to use a helmet or not. Same
with seatbelts. Yet I have no problem requiring a child to be belted
in or wear a helmet. Of course, I also don't have a problem with an
insurance company which says, no helmet, no coverage, or limited
coverage. That is a business decision.
As an example, I present the following: Most people know that military
people have full medical coverage for themselves and their families.
What few people know is that a GI who is involved in an accident while
not wearing a helmet or a seatbelt, etc, will have the military refuse
to cover his medical needs. Used to be that GIs took off the helmet,
or unbuckkled as soon as they were off base. No more. It also used to
be that no matter what the state drinking age was, or whether a locale
was "dry" or not, GIs could drink on base. That too ended.
Yes, bad things happen to anyone. And, I think the government has gone
way too far to protect people from themselves. The crap they are
pulling now with Happy Meals and soft drinks is just a small example.
But that does not mean we should be totally oblivious to things which
can help save lives of innocent people.
One other point... in the beginning, autos were not harder to operate.
They were very simple mechanical devices. Sure, you had to put some
muscle into turning the steering wheel, but, at the same time there
were far less distractions and far less traffic on the roads. The
highway next to my grandparents farm was two lanes, undivided, and we
pulled straight onto it from the gravel driveway. Today that same
highway had eight lanes, and in some sections, more.
Only if the insurance business isn't a government regulated cartel. But
that's exactly what it is these days.
The government also uses those who signed up for the military as test
subjects for all sorts of things from vaccines to radiation exposure,
so perhaps they aren't a good example.
The mistake was allowing the government to get a foot in the door. The
USA is full of control freaks and once the government has a little
power the control freaks merely need to encourage government and no
government needs much encouragement to expand its power.
Driving is a relatively simple task. Distraction and bad driving is due
to the teachings we get. Distraction is easy because of the dumbed down
conditions and mind-numbing slow speed limits, it craves distraction
because driving as it has been legally dumbed down to is BORING. 55mph
on a near empty 6 lane interstate... where's the television? Where's
the internet connection? Furthermore we are taught to drive slow
because of the other guy. The teachings make bad driving socially
acceptable. It's gotten so assbackwards that people are offended
and believe the other guy at fault when someone doesn't give way to
their piss poor inattentive driving.
It might be regulated at present, but that is nothing compared to
what ObamaCare will do.
As a eretired GI/Combat Vet (as well as cop), I take issue with this
Agreed. Unfortunately, this is the end result in allgreat
civilizations. The people, in the name of safety, relinquish more and
more power to the government. The government doesn't so much take
power as it does accept power. But, once it has it, only revolution
can return the power to the people.
I disagree, respectfully. At low speed, a distraction may cause things
to go bad, but, a distraction at high speed, caused things to go bad
everr faster. So much so that the ability to react is slowed, and the
reaction usually becomes far more than necessary. That leads to a
total loss of control. Think about what happens if a driver drifts off
the edge of the pavement. At slow speed, the driver may slow further
and stop, or may correct back onto the pavement (which may require
further deceleration). At high speed, a slight turn of the wheel to
rgain the pavement has a greater impact force against the pavement
edge. Toss in some loose soil/sand and the result is usually
disasterous. I don't care how many years the average drive has spent
behind the wheel, when unexpected things happen, the reaction is most
often the wrong one. Heck... Even professional drivers make errors in
You can also take a driver from one climate to another, and without
experience behind them, a dust devil, patch of ice, etc, can be the
end of a nice drive.