John Semmens is an AZDOT project manager who also writes free-market oriented policy papers — he is perhaps best known locally for his vociferous opposition to Phoenix’s light rail. John is now affiliated with the Independent Institute — a free-market-leaning think-tank that I had heretofore not heard of. He had an op-ed published last Saturday in the Wall Street Journal that contained some novel, perhaps radical, ideas about how private auto insurance should be used as a lever against dangerous drivers; he dubs this the “Disneyland model”, and makes some good points. Though, he does not even mention the role of law (criminal) enforcement (as in criminal charges: homicide, assault)… perhaps he was space-limited. Also, his general idea — privatizing licensure — seems sound but how would this help the problems caused by those who simply go without? In any event it is a welcome look at publicizing one facet of the problems created by private automobile usage.
What is the deal with the 39,000 deaths figure? Fatalities have been running around 43,000.
The full text is here: On the Road. September 1, 2007 op-ed, John Semmens, Wall Street Journal