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Let 'em Spin

June 04, 2005

What's crazier than spending up to $20,000 for car wheels that look like they're still spinning even after the car stops?

Banning them.

The Wall Street Journal reports that three states -- New York, Iowa and Virginia -- introduced legislation this year to ban the "spinners," saying they can distract other motorists and contribute to accidents.

And people say Californians are cracked.

No doubt the spinners get noticed. That's what they were meant to do, at prices than can range from a few hundred dollars for the budget hubcap subspecies to thousands for the premier wheel sets.

But are they more attention-grabbing than a cellphone conversation on the latest real estate prices, more eye-catching than a glow-by-night 3-D billboard, more hazardous than using the rear-view mirror to put on eyeliner, more distracting than the kids screaming out a raucous game of "Punch Buggy" in the back seat?

It's hard to see why hubcaps that look like pinwheels have become a hot status symbol, when for the same money you could get a creaky elevator named after yourself at a small college. We're not ready, though, to call them a public menace. We can only hope it's another silly fad that, along with privatizing Social Security, will fade away. Maybe they can take the unfortunately revived "Punch Buggy" game with them.

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