The latest deadly threat to be the subject of legislation is the “spinner hubcap,” the flashy spinning wheel covers that have become increasingly popular in recent years. Iowa House Bill 108 would make it a misdemeanor to operate any vehicle bearing any “removable hubcap or wheel cover that is attached to the wheel of a motor vehicle and continues to rotate, or appears to rotate, after the vehicle has come to a stop.”
Iowa state representative Doug Struyk (R-Council Bluffs) introduced the bill after he was, according to him, nearly injured by the deadly spinners in November. Struyk said he was driving a truck pulling a 16-foot trailer loaded with a dozen ladders when he approached an intersection at which was a car bearing spinner hubcaps. He told the Omaha World-Herald that the spinning spinners “made it appear as if the car might still be moving through the intersection, so he braked hard and the trailer nearly jackknifed.” Possible solutions: (1) resolve to look in the future at the actual chassis of an approaching car rather than its hubcaps in order to determine whether it is moving or not; (2) outlaw distracting hubcaps. Thus, House Bill 108.
Another suggestion: raise the pay of Iowa legislators to the point where they don’t have to deliver ladders in their spare time to support themselves.
Unsurprisingly, representatives of spinner-hubcap manufacturers were not pleased. Brian Kaminski of Wheel-One, Inc., a Los Angeles manufacturer of the deadly devices, said he did not understand how the wheel covers could be considered dangerous. “I’ve heard of people saying stuff like that,” he said. “The way I think of it is, if you can’t tell a car’s not moving and you start going, maybe you shouldn’t have a driver’s license.” (Let alone a license to haul ladders.) But Struyk defended his bill. “I’ve talked to fellow legislators,” he said,” and haven’t had anybody tell me I’m out of my mind yet.” Hey, that’s a pretty good rule of thumb for legislation—if nobody has told you you’re out of your mind, you must be on the right track.
Rep. Struyk’s other projects this year include the unfortunately-titled “A bill for an act allowing certain senior residents to hunt deer during the youth and severely disabled deer hunting season,” which is certainly bad news for severely disabled deer.