There's a new killer in town and some drastic measures are needed to put him down. This killer sits in your garage.
April 7, 2004, was World Health Day (you mean you missed it?) and the World Health Organization decided to focus the day's attention on the disturbing amount of fatal traffic accidents around the world. They say that by 2020, traffic crashes could exceed stroke and HIV in lives claimed. They also say most car accidents are preventable.
"Traffic crashes are the No. 1 killer of our children and among the leading causes of death for teens and adults alike," said Capt. Leonard Stallworth, Illinois State Police, in a comment to a Chicago television station.
That's just unacceptable. The way I see it, there are too many cars and too many people, and most of those individuals just shouldn't be driving. So I have come up with a three-point plan that will prevent the free-flow of blood running in our streets.
- People should only be allowed to drive during peak daylight hours, from 6 am to 8 pm. After 8 pm, the only people who need to be driving are cops. Everybody else - those out on the town, working nights and graveyard shifts - will need to take advantage of our great public transportation systems. Perhaps special arrangements can be made for night drivers, but an extensive background check and special license will be needed.
- Any engine six cylinders and up needs to go. Come on, do we really need gas-guzzling V-8s and V-12s which do nothing but provide useless amounts of horsepower? Nobody needs a 350 horsepower Corvette - what I call an "assault sports car". Maybe at one time they were needed (possibly when we were fighting the British - wait, that's another argument, sorry), but those days are over. Besides, only crooks robbing banks use assault sports cars. Do you really want to have a car associated with bank robbers?
- Of the remaining four-cylinder engines, horsepower should be restricted to 90. That's pretty good. You can get to work, the store - anywhere you need to go (during peak hours, of course). The useless posturing of males trying to show off how big their engines are, as they attempt to make up for their small pensies, will vanish - thus eliminating dangerous drag races and stop amatuer mechanics from revving engines in their garages, which only disturbs the neighbors. High speed police chases, also the cause of many a fatal accident because non-police vehicles are able to go faster than cop cars, will be no more. Granted, without the ability to televise police chases, Los Angeles broadcasting will crumble, but they'll just have to live with it - for the safety of our community.
Look, I'm not saying you can't drive. I'm not saying you can't own a car. I'm just saying you can't drive all the time. Sensible driving control is needed in order to reduce traffic fatalities and prevent needless suffering. It needs to be implemented now before it's too late.
I shall present this plan before Congress in the coming days - watch for me on C-SPAN - with the help of Lara Raddy of Driving Control International, whose husband was paralyzed in a crash caused a reckless driver in a BMW late for a power lunch. Your prayers would be appreciated. Because our children are at stake.
Brian Evankovich lives in California where he spends his free time sucking the jelly out of jelly donuts and refilling them with chocolate swirl ice cream. Brianevankovich@hotmail.com.