Talk about enabling bad behavior. How would the tough-love people feel about fixing the problem of irresponsibility in other areas of our lives by making sure there aren't harsh consequences? I'd love to hear this in a debate among conservatives.
Here's another example, a report on "Keeping Baby Boomers Mobile: Preserving Mobility and Safety for Older Americans."
As a baby boomer myself, I hate to think that national researchers think I won't be mobile soon. But I admit that not only am I on the young end of baby boom, but we all get older, and it's probably a good idea to think about all those people that will need to stay connected to the world. We have built a country where driving is almost required to participate, so this report emphasizes bigger, brighter signs, wider roads with fewer curves, and less things to run into on the side of the road - like bus shelters, benches, trees, or buildings.
No mention at all that maybe people shouldn't drive, if they can't use the roads in a safe and responsible manner. How about building communities where driving is but one option to move around? How about making sure that people that can't drive can walk, take transit, or get a ride another way for their daily activities, entertainment, and social interactions?
But I'm going to let the words that came via email this morning, from David Burwell at the Carnegie Endowment, speak to that issue:
Report of the Week: The Transportation Research Information Program (TRIP) the research affiliate of the Highway Users Alliance, has blessed America with a new report documenting innovative strategies for keeping our senior drivers safe on the roads. Noting that while seniors represent only 8% of the driving public but 18% of driver fatalities, the TRIP report, Keeping Baby Boomers Mobile: Preserving Mobility and Safety for Older Americans, suggests such innovations as requiring "clearer, brighter and simpler signs with large letters." Great idea--and how about the pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users--maybe we (actually, they, since your reporter is a baby boomer) all should be required to carry bright signs in large letters saying "please don't hit me!" Wider left turn lanes are another helpful idea, along with longer turning and exit lanes--providing more pavement for those pesky walkers and bicyclists to cross. One can page through the entire report for programs to provide baby boomers with options to driving--ride-sharing, mixed use developments that reduce the need to travel, more transit options--nope, not there. But this is a Highway Users Alliance publication after all. If seniors don't want to use the highways they are on their own. http://www.tripnet.org/docs/Older_Drivers_TRIP_Report_Feb_2012.pdf.