Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Dubious Constitutionality In Government Agency Agenda's
While researching motorcycle related injuries and fatalities has produced some fairly readily available data on location and degree of injuries for motorcyclists. Trying to obtain similar data for other motor vehicle related injuries and fatalities is proving to be quite a different matter entirely. Outside of some data from the Centers for Disease Control that actually directly compared head injury rates of motorcyclists to other motor vehicle occupants, there has been relatively little.
For example, in a NHTSA report on fatal injuries involving 15 passenger vans the fatalities are broken down by; percentage of those fatalities were the driver, percentage of fatalities by gender, by age group, by use of passenger restraints, and even the percentage related to rollovers. Yet no where in that report is any mention of the type of injuries, or their location on the body. Would it not be logical to examine the mechanisms that led to fatal injury and how to mitigate them in future, rather than examining the percentage of fatalities by age and gender? Without knowing what the fatal injuries were, how can one assume to be able to mitigate them in the future? NHTSA has admitted in some of it's own reports that it's system is not designed to document much of the details beyond what they have. Which creates a bureaucracy that admittedly doesn't have all the detailed data, yet continues to implement procedures based on incomplete or worse irrelevant data, irregardless of Constitutionality. One of the key reasons the federal seat belt standard calls for an over the shoulder harness, is because outside observers cannot tell if a occupant of a vehicle is buckled up without the shoulder strap visible. Even though you may never get them to admit that fact. But consider that mandatory seat belt laws didn't become primary until after visible shoulder straps became standard.
What does seem to be somewhat alarming is the government's apparent fixation on passenger restraints and air bags in motor vehicles, and helmets on motorcyclists as injury prevention agents. As if somehow these items alone will somehow end fatal injuries on the highway. By examining the data from the 2010 CDC report "TBI in the United States", one can see that on average, over 104,000 people suffer traumatic brain injuries in motor vehicle traffic crashes annually. This is with the protection of air bags and restraints. This does not count motorcyclists, who add an average of 9,900 TBI's to the mix every year.
The CDC is another example of a bureaucracy that doesn't seem to either understand, or simply disregards the Constitution. In a recent report, the CDC touted the effectiveness of random DUI checkpoints, and bemoaned the fact that many states laws forbid the practice. The CDC openly supported law enforcement randomly setting up checkpoints to inspect all vehicles for impaired drivers. Without any apparent comprehension that such checkpoints violate the citizens rights to be secure from illegal search and seizure without due process. Without that comprehension, they move closer to defacto dictatorial bureaucracies, placing their agenda above the nation's highest law.
Catch you on the road sometime...