It's easy. Cities have so much lighting that if you start from some lighted place, like a supermarket parking lot, you can drive around a lot without noticing a lack of illumination from your headlights.
You know what, you're right, brotha!! And you know what else,.....it is 2006, not 1776. People should be held accountable for everything! You shouldn't be able to rape, pillage, and plunder and the worst they can do is put you in a room for the rest of your life. Rape=chop the hog;steal=chop hands;kill a motorcyclist and say I didn't see em; do burnouts with a zx-14 on their forhead....I'll bet they never do it again....of course what if it really was an accident...???Oh well.
I really don't like the idea of applying draconian penalties every time a driver makes a small mistake on the road where no one was actually hurt. As someone already pointed out, if you're in the city, having your headlights off at night (while illegal) is probably not the end of the world. Capital punishment for that? It would have a negative effect by making people more resentful of the cops.
To me, this lights-out stuff is the sort of thing best handled by a police warning: You get the fright of a penalty and possibly a guilty conscience, and for most people, that's enough of a reminder to watch out. After all, you passed one guy with his lights off... but probably passed another 99 with them on.
Of course, if someone IS injured or killed by stupid driving, I hope the law does its worst to the perpetrator.
Ain't gonna work for one simple reason. Laws only have limited effectiveness. People with high standards of personal ethics tend to behave responsibly and don't need a bunch of laws to control their behavior. People with low standards of personal ethics don't pay atttention to laws and, frankly, aren't able to even see the consequences of unethical behavior. Passing laws to regulate them only allows you to punish them after the fact.
The sort of people who want laws to regulate everything are too stupid to understand the above principle. Or they are just powermad @$$holes who enjoy making other people miserable... like your congressman.
Couple o' weeks ago, was headed back to ATL from Birmingham. Business, don'tchaknow which means 4 wheels.
Dark hit say 'bout Anniston as I was eastbound on I-20. A car fell in behind me sans headlights. No headlights all the way to western burbs of ATL. Thats a good 40 miles. And it was fully dark. And no headlights.
NEVER underestimate the total incompetence of those around you!
My Accord has dash lights that stay on all the time. After 25 years of driving this was new to me. I was conditioned to turn on the headlights when I could not see the dash lights. When I fist got the Accord I had a few occasions where I would drive from the very well lit parking lot at work without headlights. Now I just leave them on all the time. I can see how it could happen.
You know what, I am a pizza guy, and people try to kill me all the time. I've grown accustomed swerving to spare my life. Here's my take: If you are involved in an accident, it is your fault, (almost) always. If some guy t-bone's you, you should have been prepared for it. If somebody pulls out in front of you, you should be ready to dodge them. Always plan for the worst. Ride like you're invisible. That's what motorcycling is all about.
Last year I did a late night police ride-a-long with a DUI specialist. We pulled over and arrested drunk drivers all night long and I was amazed at how this guy could spot little things that gave him clues that the driver had been drinking. Clue #1 that he shared with me? Drivers pulling away at night before turning on the headlights.
There are two big factors in modern society that foster negligence and inattentiveness----the transfer of restitution to the state instead of the individual, and insurance. When someone is convicted of negligence these days, their fine is paid to the state, their criminal sentence is served in state jails.....rarely are they forced to compensate the victims personally like they did in antiquity, in fact, once upon a time, that was the standard method, even in cases of criminal wrongdoing like robbery and rape.
Second, insurance has insulated people from bearing the burden of their mistakes. Studies show that areas where the rate of uninsured is higher experience, on average, less accidents than areas where the rate of insured is higher. It stands to reason that if you're not insured, you know the possible consequences and you're going to be more careful.