Once again we have a fatal wrong-way crash, and once again the masses are clamoring for spike strips at every highway exit ramp (“I-75 wrong-way crash kills man; Toledoan heading home from Midnight Mass in Michigan,” Dec. 26).
There is a good reason we don’t see spike strips at exit ramps anywhere. They have been studied and even tried a few times, and they don’t work.
Spikes are highly susceptible to damage by snow, ice, dirt, rocks, grease, and other debris, causing them to remain in an upright position. Vehicles fleeing police have had tires flattened by emergency spike strips and continued to drive for miles.
What could help are greatly increased drunken-driving penalties and prosecutors who do not plead down offenses for driving under the influence. Better yet, there should be mandatory felony charges for every second and subsequent DUI offense.
Most of all, wrong-way DUI crashes should be prosecuted not as vehicular crimes, but as second-degree murder through “depraved heart” indifference to human life.
Although drinking may not be a choice for some, driving drunk is.
New Congress can tend to issue
Going over the fiscal cliff may not be as bad as you and many other people think (“Plan C, as in cliff,” editorial, Dec. 25).
No politician wants to be labeled as voting to raise taxes. By allowing the George W. Bush tax cuts to expire and tax rates to rise automatically, the new Congress can convene in January and quickly draft legislation that would lower rates again. Representatives and senators could point to their record and say they never voted to raise taxes on anyone.
As long as we don’t stay at the bottom of the cliff for too long, no great hardship will be done to our economy. Tax reductions can be made retroactive to Jan. 1.
Then we can get on with our lives and begin worrying about the next crisis — across-the-board spending cuts — that our divided federal government has in store for us.
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