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
Continue reading The Disneyland Model
This is the sort of story that runs from time to time. Not front page news, by any stretch — it was buried in the B section. Motorists killing motorists. So much negligence, so little responsibility — maybe a few traffic tickets.
This is juxtaposed over the nationwide media din of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Indeed, the front page today still is crammed with ever more stories of the aftermath. One of today’s lead stories was that the death toll, currently 5 confirmed and 8 still missing, seems miraculously low. Over 42,000 dead in traffic crashes last year — 0 of which were from bridge collapses.
Continue reading 11 people die in Valley traffic crashes over 5-day period
Arizona Leads the Nation [update: also see this entry]
NHTSA released final traffic stats for 2006 on July 23rd: Arizona led the nation in increased number of fatalities, by 109, from 1,179 in 2005 to 1,288 in 2006 (a whopping 9.2% increase). Overall US fatalities decreased by 2%. Continue reading 2006 Fatality Stats – Final
[ U P D A T E : final stats ]
NHTSA’s preliminary Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data for 2006 (a.k.a. highway traffic fatalities):
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|All other transportation(e.g planes, trains)
(Figures released May 25, 2007; updated table with 2005 numbers June 16, 2007)
Continue reading 2006 Fatality Stats – preliminary