“This guy had an intent to create mayhem and massacre a lot of people.” – Dave Blackburn
“It was horrific…It looked like something out of a movie.” – Elizabeth Adams
“People being brought out on stretchers. I saw people with blood all over their legs.” – Louisa Hodge
If you had to guess what the previous quotes were describing, what would you say? Most people, including myself, would assume that the tragedy being talked about was a shooting of some kind, or perhaps a terrorist attack. Those assumptions would be incorrect. The event being talked about was certainly an attack, but not with a gun; it was an attack with a motor vehicle.
On a quiet, beautiful Saturday evening on the Venice boardwalk, a man drove a car through a crowd of pedestrians, killing one, and injuring eleven. Following the attack, the driver left his car, and ran. He is currently at large, and is facing felony hit and run charges.
I think this conversation is long overdue. We have talked repeatedly about gun control following the recent spate of shootings. We have done as much as we can to control the weapons responsible for those shootings, but what about vehicles? We have these 2000 pound metal monsters shooting around at up to 100 miles per hour, and we have not heard a single word about car control.
According to Walking Info, approximately 4000 pedestrians are killed each year by motor vehicles, and another 59,000 are injured. According to Bloomberg, 32,800 people died as a result of car accidents in 2010. As if that’s not bad enough, here are some more statistics from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving):
1. Over 1.41 million drivers were arrested in 2010 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Crime in the United States: 2010”)
2. In 2010, 211 children were killed in drunk driving crashes. Out of those 211 deaths, 131 (62 percent) were riding with the drunk driver. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Traffic Safety Facts 2010: Alcohol Impaired Driving” Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2011.)
3. Adults drank too much and got behind the wheel about 112 million times in 2010 – that is almost 300,000 incidents of drinking and driving each day. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, October 2011)
What we have here is a 2000 pound weapon being abused by unqualified individuals. Because of all the death and injuries, I think it is time we take control of the situation. I have some ideas for car control:
1. Background checks need to be run on every person who has the intent of purchasing a vehicle. If they have any criminal history, violent history, or history of narcotic and alcohol abuse, they will not be permitted to own a motor vehicle.
2. Cars need to be made much more expensive. If cars are expensive, fewer people will buy them. With fewer cars on the road, there will be fewer car-related deaths and injuries.
3. We need to set limits on vehicle speed capabilities. If a car can only drive at a top speed of 30 miles per hour, vehicle related deaths and injuries will decrease significantly.
4. We need to set a 3 day waiting period for those intent on purchasing a car.
5. We need to reinforce government funded public transportation as a better option.
6. We need to limit the amount of gas purchased by car owners. It could be a standard, government set limit, or gas prices could be increased dramatically. Either way, with a limited amount of gas, people will use their cars infrequently, reducing the possibility of fatal accidents and deaths.
Certainly, it is not the people driving the vehicles that are at fault here, it is the vehicles themselves. If we can simply make it more difficult for Americans to purchase vehicles, we can reduce vehicle related deaths and injuries significantly. And in time, perhaps we can eliminate cars altogether. Once cars are out of the picture, we can truly have a safe America.
Car control is absolutely crucial in protecting the American people. Prior to the invention of cars and guns, human beings were a peaceful race, never resorting to violence, and never killing. With car control, we can go back to those glory days. We can live in peace and safety once again.