Dec 242007

Several months ago I was asking about bicycle touring in Russia. Someone on the phred bicycle touring list said drivers there tend to be careful because nobody has insurance.

It’s an interesting idea. Here’s another one along those lines, posted over at Cafe Hayek:

My George Mason University colleague Gordon Tullock famously remarked that the best way for government to reduce the number of traffic fatalities is for it to mandate that a sharp steel dagger be mounted on the steering column of each vehicle and pointed directly at each driver’s heart. Forget about all other regulations and mandates; that dagger will ensure safe driving.

I don’t know if the Russian example is true, though. There are plenty of Russian traffic accident videos on youtube, and I see traffic accident coverage when I watch the news on RTR Planeta. And then there is the 1982 movie, Vokzal dlya Dvoikh, in which we learn that the penalty for accidentally running over a pedestrian on a dark night was three years in a nice Siberian gulag. It doesn’t make it sound like traffic accidents are unheard of.

Still, I think the main danger would be getting Putinized. I’d still very much like to go touring there, though.