The jihad against sail fawn gabbling – and worst of all, texting – is about to bear fruit in the form of the ORIGOSafe (see here). It is a dock – an interlock – built into your car (perhaps your next new car) that will prevent the engine from being started unless you first insert your sail fawn into said dock.
For safety’s sake, of course.
“April is Distracted Driving Month,” lectures ORIGOSafe Founder Clay Skelton. “No matter how much people talk about the dangers of hand-held texting, especially among teens, driving isn’t getting any safer… .” He drones on for awhile more along the same lines before coming to the denouement: His device – installed in every new car. You can almost see the double dollar signs in his pupils.
Now, he doesn’t actually say the word. You know the word. Mandate. But where else is this headed? The concept is far too profitable to be lefty to the vagaries of the (semi) free market, to (what’s left of) consumer choice. Because – no doubt – very few consumers would freely choose to have their cars mauled with ORIGOSafe.
After all, would you?
“For only (italics added) $279″ – plus another $125 to install the filthy bugger – “you can have peace of mind knowing your driver is focused on the road, with the phone safely docked in the ORIGO,” trumpets the company web site.
Yep, “only” another $400 or so out the window – on top of the air bags ($1,500 per car according to most estimates) the back-up cameras ($200 per car) the tire pressure monitors (another hundred, maybe) all the rest of it.
But, you’ll be safer!
That’s the magic word. The word that justifies anything – cost no object. And which renders individual choice irrelevant. No, anathema.
If it’s “safe” then it’s a must do. Just what the doctor ordered.
And that’s what worries me most – the ordered part. My Spider Sense is tingling. I just know – with depressing certitude – that ORIGOSafe will tread the same path already well-worn by other safety items, once optional (failed) now “successful” (because mandatory).
Air bags, for instance. These claymores in the steering wheel would not be in every new car absent the order they be installed.
Same goes for the back-up cameras recently mandated.
Most people, left to their own devices, would elect not to purchase this gear. Not an opinion – a fact. Seat belts were available as optional equipment before they became mandatory equipment. Most people – when they still could – skipped them. Same with air bags when they first appeared in the early ’70s. Same with back-up cameras – which have been around for more than ten years but which many people didn’t buy because they couldn’t justify the additional cost and didn’t feel the need.
Unsafe! Intolerable! It cannot be permitted!
Did you know that several automakers already have in-car Breathalyzers in the works? Yes, indeed. The same interlocks currently fitted to cars owned by convicted “drunk” drivers are almost certainly going to be incorporated into the cars of non-convicts (that’s us) in order to . . . keep us safe. After all, it’s unendurable to imagine that anyone might drive drunk. Therefore, everyone must submit to being handled as presumptively drunk until proved not-drunk.
That premise has already been accepted by the courts – and much more unfortunately, by many people too. So, there will be little objection to mandatory in-car Breathalyzers, when those get rolled out. After all, if it’s okay to stop people at random and compel them to prove they aren’t drunk – well, why not insist they have Breathalyzers installed in their cars? You don’t support drunk driving . . . do you?
These same people will not only embrace – no, demand – that sail fawn interlocks be installed in all new cars. Just as they have insisted that all new cars be fitted with air bags, back-up cameras and tire pressure monitors. Because other people (not them, of course) cannot be trusted to act responsibly and competently. They need – in the insufferably oleaginous phraseology of one of their leaders – to be “nudged” in the right direction.
Well, among other things, I don’t even own a sail fawn – and hope to god I never will. What happens when they drop off a brand-new 2016 car for me to test drive . . . and I can’t even get the damned thing to start because I don’t have a sail fawn to insert into the ORIGOSafe?
I guess it’ll be my cue to exit, stage left. They’ve already sucked most of the joy out of driving anyhow – by taking the driver out of the equation. The latest new cars pre-empt the driver in a multitude of ways – transforming him, with each new model year, into a passenger. If one squints a little and looks hard into the distance, one can see the driverless car coming. Just another couple of years now, at most.
Meanwhile, we’ll all be so much safer (albeit $400 poorer) with our sail fawns securely docked into our ORIGOS.
Next up: Hannibal Lecter-style mouth guards to keep us from talking while driving.
Throw it in the Woods?