WhichCar stories about law-enforcement cameras, or speed limits always receive lots of responses from our audience, and we enjoy hearing your opinions and gaining perspective from the broader motoring community.
But amongst the interesting anecdotes and well-structured arguments from both sides of the fence, there is one very special type of commenter who, for the sake of anonymity, we’ll call Karen.
While reasonable Australians are out enjoying a beautiful day or doing something meaningful with their lives, Karen prefers to sit in a darkened room constantly trawling social media channels and waiting for a story about road safety to pop up.
When this happens, it’s time for Karen to spring into action, answer their calling and deliver what they do best – total blind ignorance.
Examples are numerous, but one recent response from someone we’ll call Steve-Karen is typical and largely representative of the comments we frequently receive.
“Maybe impound car if exceeding more than ten over. Modern cars now should be limited to 100 with an onboard device that can’t be over ridden or bypassed,” they suggested.
Normally, we simply flick past the numerous carbon-copy comments like these until we find something more original or intelligent but on this occasion, I thought it might be fun to give this idea a little consideration and try to paint a picture of a world if Karen was king.
The new car industry would be dead within the year
Battling in Australia's uniquely competitive market is enough of a challenge, but attempting to sell a car that is limited to 10km shy of the maximum permitted speed would be as easy as selling a model that has fishing hooks sewn into the seats and, Instead of upgrading to a new compulsory speed-limited vehicle, Australians would simply hold on to their existing freedom machines indefinitely.
Of course, there would be an initial rush to snap up all the remaining stock before the law was introduced, just as Holden’s Australian-made Commodore flew out of showrooms after the factory closure in 2017.
After that though, new sales would dry up, the Australian car brand exodus would begin and, before long, there would simply be no way of buying a new Karen-car whether you wanted one or not.
In retail’s place, a new industry would emerge patching up old bombs and wrecks with improvised spares and engine conversions to simple 1950-spec four-cylinder diesels.
If you want an idea of what Australia’s automotive landscape would look like under Karen rule, multiply Holden’s demise 60-plus times and Google Cuba.
You would be dead in about 11 days
Karen also believes outrageously strict penalties would encourage motorists to obey the speed limit and impounding cars for a little more than the inaccuracy of an average speedometer over the limit is the way to go.
But this would be just the start of law reform, setting a president for all kinds of new and incredibly severe punishments, including removal of a finger for not keeping left unless overtaking, and three months in prison for children who don’t do their homework. Actually, the first one might not be such a bad idea.
Either way, the justice system would be at the top of the slippery slope and at the bottom lies only one grim reality – death for every offence.
If the only way to get people to do what’s right is through fear of terrible ultimate consequences then, in Karen’s world even the most minor of crimes would be punishable by execution.
What does that look like? A study found that the average person commits 32 breaches of the law every year, which if spaced out equally, amounts to about one crime every 11 days.
You can forget speeding. Under Karen law, current road rules that prevent you from leaving your car unlocked, hanging an arm out of the window or reversing too far would all result in your death – within a fortnight.
Supreme leader Karen Jong-Un
But Karen has realised that making something illegal won’t stop people doing it and the only way to uphold the law is by making it impossible to break.
After car speed-limiters would come plastic chef’s knives – useless in the kitchen but impossible to stab with.
Next, spray paint cans would disappear from shop shelves and, after that cameras would appear in your home.
Chillingly, the society that people are effectively endorsing when they suggest speed limiters in cars is not a step along the way to a blissful utopia, but a horrific, oppressive regime that breeds imbalance, fear and suffering.
Under Karen’s leadership, Australia would not become a better place or even the Cuba Down Under, it would become the next North Korea.
You should be offended by comments that call for the absurd introduction of speed limiters in cars, the crushing of vehicles for relatively minor offences and many more hyperbolic, quasi-solutions because they take us all for fools and imply you, on an individual basis, are not capable of making the right decision by yourself.
Of course, there will always be a minute proportion of society that chooses to do the wrong thing – a by-product and consequence of living in the free world – but what Karen wants to do is punish and control us all because of the actions of a few.
And if you agree with Karen, then you deserve the totalitarian Stalinist dictatorship that you’re dreaming of.