Thursday, January 12, 2006

A proposal that should increase seat belt usage

The free flow of information will do more to promote public safety and social progress than any law ever will.

Example: We don't need seat belt laws. In the end they don't work because some people only learn things the hard way. What we need is for news outlets to display full color images of people thrown from their car after an accident. Nobody gives a shit when you say "leading cause of death for people under age 35". There is no drama in that statistic, it has no emotional appeal.

"Can they do that?" Sure they can. For a time, they could show all sorts of carnage and profanity related to 9/11. Last year they showed "Saving Private Ryan" with all the f-bombs and real bombs left intact. Car wrecks kill more people than Osama could ever dream of killing. Its sort of strange that some fear flying on an airplane because of something that happened 4 years ago, but they aren't afraid of flying through a windshield even though someone just did 4 minutes ago.

Similiar shock tactics have worked in the past. Pet adoption rates in a North Carolina town increase after a dog was euthanized on public access television. I don't recommend that Doug Horner try this because the library where we film his show does not allow pets.

If the goal is to promote safety, then this tactic should work. If the goal is to raise funds, then have the coroner sell the photos to Fox News. Either way, its win-win.


  1. Do you ever think that we'll get back to a simple live and let live, or even live and let die attitude in this country? Education is a public good, but there will always be some who choose not to accept it, or relish their dangerous actions.
    Some people will smoke, some will eat fattening food, some will attempt to fix a toaster while it's still plugged in. It's life and none of us, no matter what the government does gets out of it alive.

  2. If the federal government declares bankruptcy due to massive overseas debt, there will be more "live and let live" than I would care to think about.