Monday 5 May 2008

Burn rate

When was the last time you burnt rubber? And I am being literal. When did you last put pedal to the metal? This past week I have been catching up with some of my American friends and one this is for sure, the motorists there respect the law. They obey the laws of the land. Have you ever heard of that expression "crime does not pay" applying to traffic violations? Well, think about this. In the US, if a motorist gets stopped for speeding, for example, then not only do they get a hefty fine but they also have to go and spend a whole afternoon in traffic school, or perhaps even a few days.

Now, we all know that time is money. So, who has got the time to go and sit in driver education classes? Furthermore, if you don’t go to traffic school then you get a negative score on your driver’s license and this is directly tied into the insurance company that controls your premiums. So, if you don’t bother going to traffic school then your insurance payments go up. In America, everyone is incentivized not to break the law; and that is exactly how it works.

When I told my mate in Los Angeles that we had over 1000 deaths here on the roads in any one holiday season they thought I was the biggest bullshitter on Earth. I guess the way to summarize their law enforcement over there is pretty simple – you break the law, you pay. And you pay big. Maybe if our traffic fines were imposed in US Dollars (and actually enforced) then the number of maniacs on the road would decrease. And then, maybe not.

And that's it for me for today; I am going to go rip up the streets of Johannesburg. When in Rome ...

Posted by Ronnie Apteker