I propose a new federal law, effectively banning all minivans from the fast lane of all highways. This ordinance would limit said minivans to operating exclusively in the slow lane. If, and only if, the highway should have a third lane or more, said minivans may use the lane most adjacent to the slow lane for the passing of slower traffic (i.e. other minivans) based on three conditions: the adjacent lane (the "passing lane") must be free and clear of all traffic; the maximum time spent in the passing lane is no more than 20 seconds; and the minivan must immediately return to the slow lane after the passing of such vehicle.
On the first infraction of the law, the guilty party will be sentenced to a punishment fitting the crime: 80 hours of community service, watching paint dry, or a combination of both. The second offense would result in impounding the minivan for a minimum of 30 days followed by the confiscation and crushing of the guilty's vehicle on the third charge.
Once ratified, this law could be easily amended to encompass other slow driving vehicles such as diesel trucks, SUVs, vans, the Toyota Tercel, all Buicks and Cadillacs, Volvos manufactured in the '90s and older, non-Subaru station wagons, all vehicles displaying "Baby On Board" placards, and the Pontiac Aztek.
Why the need for such harsh penalties? Because these vehicles are obstacles to reducing our carbon footprints.
Driving back from the Formula D/BOTI event in Vegas, I can't remember how many times I encountered a minivan chugging along at speeds 10-15 mph under the posted, and might I add, very visible speed limit. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. Hell, it's half expected. Most women don't drive fast, and any man found captaining one has long since coat checked his testicles. But when a family-sized, sliding-rear-door mobile is in the fast lane causing undue congestion, it is a problem. A global problem.
By stumbling in the fast lane, these minivans are forcing other vehicles to slow and use their brakes. This action wastes brake pads and shaves layers off the brake rotors, causing owners to replace both parts prematurely, costing precious carbon points. After all, energy and materials are necessary for the manufacture of such products, not to mention the fuel used in commercial transportation to distribute the brake and rotor, and the fuel used to drive to have the parts replaced. And that's just the beginning.
Now that the car has slowed its momentum, once past this van of a carbon obstacle, the driver will have to re-accelerate to get back to its original speed. Guess what? That takes the gas pedal and we all know what means: the expenditure of precious carbon-based fossil fuels, thus increasing our dependency on foreign oils. Acceleration also creates undue stress and heat in the engine bay exacerbating the replacement of parts which we know takes a hefty toll. And on and on it goes. All of which could have been easily avoided if the driver of the minivan, in his finite wisdom, would have stayed in the slow lane.
Now if this was an isolated incident, the effects would be miniscule. However this type of blatant negligence occurs daily. Eight out of 10 drivers have fallen victim to the stray minivan and the crime occurs at the rate of probably 50, scratch that, 500 times a second. This, my friends, is why this is a crisis on a global scale and as much of an inconvenient truth as you may have heard. It is time that these carbon obstacles are served their due justice.
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