I remember watching this short when I was a youngster on the Wonderful World of Disney show in the 1960’s. I laughed at the antics of Mr Walker as he became Mr Wheeler. But now, 40 years later, I look at this cartoon as being a very prescient vision of what happens to totally normal people when they get behind the wheel of a car.
Road Rage is an all to common problem with using a car as the primary mode of transportation. Behind the wheel, you feel a bit a more powerful and a bit more anonymous. When I drive a car, I find myself become more aggressive, getting angry at minor issues.
I also get mad when I’m on my motor bike, but there I’m not so well protected and I don’t get as mad, since I’d be facing off with an 1,200 lbs car on my 250 lbs motor bike. I don’t think I’d win that fight.
One way to address the issue of Road Rage is remember that driving is a not a right, it’s a privilege. A privilege that can be taken away at the smallest infraction. Not that losing a license will ever stop someone from driving a car, it just ups the punishment when they screw up again. Sad, but true.
There’s an allure to driving cars, one that I can’t really deny. I love watching the BBC show Top Gear, the high powered cars that they drive, crash, and trash. The allure of a Syd Mead design of a future car can’t be denied. But, in a sustainable future, can we afford to have personal transportation vehicles?
Ultimately personal transportation vehicles need to become the exception, rather than the rule for transportation. We need to make public transit more accessible and acceptable to the mass of drivers out there. To remove the “loser” label that’s been plastered on bus riders and instead apply “waster”, “selfish” to those who drive by themselves.