The Pilot Car . . .

  • June 28, 2023

In the Before Time, when you encountered a crew working on the road, it was standard operating procedure to note where the workers and equipment were and proceed around them. There was usually a flagman who waved you through the work area – and another at the other end, holding traffic headed the other way, which would be flagged through in its turn.

Today, traffic is guided through by the Pilot Car. Because – apparently – licensed drivers are no longer to be presumed capable of driving through the work zone without running over the workers or into the equipment. It is too challenging to their abilities to drive where the work is not happening.

And so, the Pilot Car.

You wait for it as well as wait your turn to go through the work area. The Pilot Car  shepherds the cars going the opposite direction through the perilous Zone and then pulls off, waits – and eventually turns around. It then assumes the leadership of the conga, which only then is flag-waved forward. This wastes another several minutes of your time, which is of course something of no value – to those endowed with the power to waste it, by forcing you to needlessly wait.

They don’t care anymore about the value – to you – of your time than a sour-pussed DMV frau.

A Frau…

They also apparently do not care about the “emissions” that result – needlessly – as a consequence of having a truck or an SUV (usually) or (as in this case) a minivan burning fuel all day long, Piloting cars through the Perilous Work Zone. Which in this case was one lane of a two-lane being repaved, obviously enough. The other lane being, obviously enough, the one you drove on.

The fact that it is – supposedly – necessary to have a Pilot Car to show people which lane is the right lane to drive upon is indicative of one or two things at least and probably both. The first is the presumption – by the government, which is responsible for maintaining the roads – that there are so many incompetent drivers on the loose that everyone must be presumed incompetent, a danger to the workers as well as to themselves. No one can be trusted to evaluate the situation and act responsibly – because there are a few who cannot be trusted to drive where indicated – and to not drive over the workers or into the equipment.

This Presumption of Incompetence principle has become the common underlying justification for myriad insufferable (to the competent and responsible) things either required by the government or foisted on the population via the corporations that now serve as government’s “private sector” helper. Both of them working together to turn the population into a gaggle of helpless children in adult bodies by treating them as if they were not very bright children who will never grow up and who would otherwise hurt themselves and others.

Over time, the population accommodates itself to this low standard.

Examples of the way it works include what is styled Park Assistance Technology – which almost every car made since about 2015 came standard with. It uses “technology” – cameras embedded in the front and rear bumpers of the car, along with cautionary beeps and even a steering wheel that makes the needed adjustments on its own – to “assist” him in doing what is arguably the most basic skill every driver ought to possess if he is worthy of the title.

And if he is not?

Does it not beg some questions? As for instance about this business of having to obtain a license from the government in order to be allowed to drive? It is increasingly apparent that this has very little – if anything – to do with driving. More precisely, with having demonstrated that one possesses the basic abilities to competently drive a car – without requiring the “assistance” of “technology.”

Or for that matter, a Pilot Car.

If a person cannot curbside park a car – not a 2500 dualie with a30-foot-long RV hanging off a gooseneck – then how is it that such a person can be licensed to drive a car? And if a person cannot competently park/back-up a 2500 dualie with a 30-foot-long RV hanging off a gooseneck without the “assistance” of “technology,” then does it not raise questions about the soundness of such a person driving a big truck with a 30 foot RV hooked up to it?

The fact is a driver’s license is just a government ID. A means to identity who you are – not whether you can drive.

It is nothing like a pilot’s license – which requires the person who possesses it to demonstrate the ability to competently operate an airplane – without “assistance.” When the candidate solos, he must fly the airplane. There is no Advanced Take-off Assistance Technology – and thank God for that. If there were – and if the pilot depended on it to fly the airplane – he would not be equipped to fly the airplane if the “technology” glitched.

Back to this business of the Pilot Car.

If so many “drivers” – so-called – are so inept and potentially dangerous that they must be shepherded (at Gimp Speed) through a work zone because they otherwise would drive where the workers are working, then perhaps every “driver” ought to be shepherded by a Pilot Car everywhere they “drive” – in the interests of saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety.

The Pilot Car could assist those who never learned to merge with traffic, parting the way and leading the way. It could relieve the “driver” of the anxiety that accompanies having to drive. Hook a tow bar up and you’re ready to go.

Straight back to sleep.

. . .

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