from the contrarian-labeling dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Is there such a thing as being too safe? Jeff Kaufman writes that buses are much safer than cars, by about a factor of 67 but buses are not very popular and one of the main reasons is that if you look at situations where people who can afford private transit take mass transit instead, speed is the main factor. According to Kauffman, we should look at ways to make buses faster so more people will ride them, even if this means making them somewhat more dangerous. Kauffman presents some ideas, roughly in order from "we should definitely do this" to "this is crazy, but it would probably still reduce deaths overall when you take into account that more people would ride the bus": Suggestions include not to require buses to stop and open their doors at railroad crossings, allow the driver to start while someone is still at the front paying, allow buses to drive 25mph on the shoulder of the highway in traffic jams where the main lanes are averaging below 10mph, and leave (city) bus doors open, allowing people to get on and off any time at their own risk. "If we made buses more dangerous by the same percentage that motorcycles are more dangerous than cars," concludes Kauffman, "they would still be more than twice as safe as cars."
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a
cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken