Quebec to censor fast-car ads?

It’s pretty well agreed among most reasonable people that speed is bad. Unless you’re speeding just a bit above the speed limit, then it’s ok because everyone else does it and you’re not hurting anyone. But anyone who drives faster than you is a maniac, and everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot.

So, some wonder, why do cars have speedometers that go up to 180kph? Why not just technologically limit how fast they can go and make it simpler for everyone?

Well nobody is doing that quite yet, but Quebec is taking a step in the direction of making automakers responsible for speeding. They’re considering banning all advertising that glorifies excessive speeding. Basically all that “professional driver on closed course” stuff, as well as shots of ski-doos flying through the air.

It’s clear that self-regulation isn’t effective here. Half of car ads feature unsafe driving, possibly in violation of the industry’s own rules about advertising. New Zealand started cracking down on these kinds of ads years ago, and Australia is running interference suggesting speeders have small penises.

To see an example of how bad it is, take a look at this Volkswagen commercial, which features speeding, unsafe driving, near-collisions and apparently drunk driving, with the moral of the story that the car’s safety systems will leave you without a scratch no matter how far you push the envelope.

That’s just irresponsible. It’s time to shut down the closed course.

UPDATE (Dec. 22): Of course, to say that such a law is a ridiculous overstepping of legislative authority, a gross attack on free speech and an outrageous violation of our rights by a nanny-state too concerned with wasting our money pretending we’re idiots would also be true.

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