The Advocate: La. second worst in highway deaths
Where do I begin? Who are the first the state blames for this ranking? Drunks. Everyone's favorite whipping boy of course, including mine. (I'm still watching you, Drunk Eddie.) Of course, they're always a problem. And of course, some of these drunks are the Men In Charge, getting second, third and fiftieth chances by the Catch-and-Release arm of the Good Ol' Boy Network. Even those who just kiss the asses of the Men In Charge get caught and released with a signed apology in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other. And they kill. Sometimes they put themselves in the running for a Darwin Award, but a lot of the time they kill someone else in the process, or instead of themselves.
I'm really not going to shed a tear when some idiotic twenty-something downs a case of beer, decides to take a drive to chase the pink elephant, then wraps their car around a telephone pole. No. I'll shed a tear when they wrap themselves around a minivan with a mother and four kids, all killed on impact.
Where else can they set the blame? How about at the feet of people who don't use their seat belts... another prime scapegoat. Of course, we all know the government mandates this behavior, but like most behaviors mandated by the Men In Charge and the lobbyists who pull their strings, the people don't care. Because, as we all know, it's our God-Given right to splatter our heads all over the Interstate when something goes wrong. Excuse me for not exercising it - suicidal as I am, sometimes I prefer living. That and gruesome automotive death isn't my thing.
It makes me wonder, though... if you're not wearing a seatbelt, you're not anchored to the car, so of course you drive just a little more carefully, watching a bit more. Often one is at her most defensive when she's unprotected.
Strap yourself in, on the other hand, and you don't have to worry about that violent left-hander knocking you into the passenger door. Of course, you flip yourself over into a ditch or get clipped by the guy coming from the other way. She who feels protection from the repercussions often lashes out recklessly.
Safety breeding unsafe conditions? Think about it a little bit. On with the entry.
Not mentioned in the article, I'll throw in the following - idiots who operate their motorcycles without helmets. Sure, the cagers have to wear their seat belts, but motorcyclists don't have to use helmets. Or do they? Seems each and every new governor around here changes that law as one of their first bill-signings in their term. Regardless, the number of them getting their heads busted like eggs on the pavement has to factor in to it somewhere.
Let's not forget the other white meat, SFB's. (Stone Headed Idiot Talking, Forgetting Operational Rules, But Running Automobile In Nagging Stupidity - put the capital letters together, each comma makes a new word, and you'll figure it out. Thanks MLOM.) They're almost as bad as the drunks at times. Everything I said about the drunks can be applied to these geniuses on an almost interchangable basis. If you've got your hands full as it is dealing with stupidity-inducing city traffic, do you really need to be on a phone as well? It's not quite as annoying on long and endless stretches of highway connecting Nowhere with B.F.E., but when there's more cars on a block of roadway than exist in the entire state of Rhode Island, you should really put the goddamned phone down and drive. 'Kay?
Of course, the article also blames the roads themselves. The bridges suck, the roads are rough, yadda yadda yadda, $14 billion backlog, blah blah blah. Couldn't we start doing something about that one of these days, preferably before my hypothetical children start getting grey hairs? They're not going to fix themselves. Instead of passing more nonsense laws and diverting money to projects with their own funding or those government has no business funding, can't we put that towards making the highways safer? Can't we put that towards widening and shoring up a bridge instead of feeding the pockets of do-nothing Men In Charge and their handlers?
Oh, wait. I forgot this is Louisiana. Always in excess, except when it could help someone other than the Politician or his Master. Because they need that money to show just how much Better Than You they are, more than you need a safe highway. I'm so glad we've got our priorities straight around here. It's enough to drive me to drink...
(Don't worry, I hid my car keys from myself.)
In this state, for the longest time, someone would say how crap we are in some national ranking, and the people would just sigh and say "at least we're not Mississippi" or "at least we're not Texas." I guess now they'll just shrug and use the new saying meaning "we're inept, who cares?"
But hey, at least we're not Montana.