By on October 16, 2019

U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rick Scott (R-FL) plan to introduce new legislation forcing automakers to install hardware that would effectively stop intoxicated individuals from operating motor vehicles by the middle of the next decade. The stated goal is to prevent the thousands of fatal crashes stemming from drunk driving each year. It’s similar to a bill introduced by House Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI), which aims to have advanced DUI prevention devices in all cars by 2024.

While it’s difficult to get bent out of shape over any system that curtails drunk driving, we’ve managed to find a way. As usual, it plays into your author’s ever-growing phobia of surveillance-focused technologies. 

Consider how these devices might work. The most basic system installs an ignition interlock, forcing drivers to blow into a tube that measures their blood alcohol concentration. If they don’t pass, the car doesn’t start. This is an antiquated device, already in use for motorists repeatedly caught driving under the influence ⁠— and it can be sidestepped by having someone sober hitting the breathalyzer before our DUI suspect hits the road.

New systems would undoubtedly be more effective… but also uncomfortably invasive. According to Reuters, Udall said automakers could implement devices to determine a driver’s blood alcohol level by touching the steering wheel or engine start button. On-board cameras and sensors could also passively monitor a driver’s breath, eye-movements, and posture while tracking the vehicle for erratic behavior.

“This issue has a real urgency to it,” Udall told the outlet. “The industry is often resistant to new mandates. We want their support but we need to do this whether or not we have it ⁠— lives are at stake.”

From Reuters:

The senators want to establish a pilot program for deployment of the technology by federal agencies.

NHTSA has invested over $50 million over 10 years in related technology, and equipment is already undergoing limited field testing in Maryland and Virginia, Udall said.

In March, Swedish carmaker Volvo said it planned to install cameras and sensors in its cars from the early 2020s, monitoring drivers for signs of being drunk or distracted and intervening to prevent accidents.

Volvo, owned by China’s Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, said intervention if the driver is found to be drunk, tired or checking a mobile phone could involve limiting the car’s speed, alerting “Volvo on Call” assistance service, or slowing down and parking the car.

Let’s recap, because this is pretty crazy.

U.S. lawmakers are discussing the possibility of mandating vehicles that not only keep a camera pointed at you 24/7 but also monitor your biometric data so it can all be sent… elsewhere. Granted, nobody is explicitly saying your information will be shared, but they don’t really have to, as cars grow ever more connected and automakers increasingly embrace the data-acquisition business.

As much as I’d like to prevent drunk driving, especially after having lost someone to it, forcing automakers to install rectal probes into car seats as a preventative measure is a bridge too far. While Udall and Scott aren’t proposing exactly that, these initiatives still feel like a preamble for commuter colonoscopies. I’m also not stoked about the concept of guilty until proven innocent ⁠— which is the underlying premise for these proposed rules.

At best, all of this collected data will go straight to your insurer ⁠— undoubtedly factoring into your monthly payments and earning the automaker a few bucks in the process. You don’t want to know my worst-case scenario; it’s almost too bleak to seriously entertain.

Since the NHTSA thinks 7,000 American lives could be saved annually via the deployment of such devices, the legislation may have some merit. But I’m more inclined to believe the juice isn’t worth the squeeze if it’s effectively going to violate the personal bubble of every single sober person on the road. Falling routinely kills more people under the age of 66 than drunk driving, but we’ve yet to require the daily wearing of parachutes and cumbersome inflatable jumpsuits. Nobody would stand for that, nor should they for Congress’ bold new play on automotive safety.

[Image: Zstock/Shutterstock]

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72 Comments on “Tapping Into Technology: Congress Considers Terrifying New Solutions for Drunk Driving...”


  • avatar
    TMA1

    That’s ridiculous! Sure, it’ll save a few lives, but millions will be late!

  • avatar
    CannonShot

    I’m all for it! I was a public defender for three years, a prosecutor for 12 years and I’ve been a judge for 7 years. I’ve seen first hand the unnecessary destruction and devastation caused by impaired and distracted drivers. I preside over a DUI treatment court. All of our participants are required to have an ignition interlock device with a camera. They work quite well. I volunteered to have an ignition interlock (with camera) installed in my truck for a month so I could see what it was like. Our roadways will continue to get more crowded and dangerous. I’m happy to trade some privacy for safety. Driving is not a right. It’s a privilege. Dangerous drivers are endlessly creative. Let’s use our technology to keep one step ahead of them if possible.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      Just playing devil’s advocate here, why did you only have the device for one month? If it’s no big deal to have these devices permanently, why did you sign up only for a short stint?

      • 0 avatar
        CannonShot

        Good question! I don’t mean to suggest it’s not a big deal. With current technology it is a big deal. The installation took a few hours. It’s a constant drain on the car battery. It’s a hassle every time you start your car. When it’s cold you have to wait for the device to warm up. It randomly makes you provide a breath sample while you’re driving. That takes some getting used to. It’s very inconvenient. There are monthly downloads that have to be done physically (through a cable connecting the device and a laptop computer) by meeting up with someone from the interlock company. Not including the installation (which I didn’t have to pay for because they wanted me to try it out), it costs about a $100 a month. Also, there’s a high demand for the devices because Idaho (where I live) recently passed a law requiring them even for first time DUI offenders. So as long as I was using it, it couldn’t be given to someone who really needed it. I imagine (and I could be wrong) that if the technology is built into the car there will be fewer technical issues.

    • 0 avatar
      2manycars

      I am all against it, Your Dishonor! I am 100% unwilling to trade privacy for safety and would not buy a car equipped with this kind of nonsense. Why not just have cameras installed in everyone’s home to be monitored by Duly Constituted Authorities? Just think of the lives that could be saved!

      Frigging tax-feeding parasite…

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        This is worse than “1984” — this is Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World!”

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        I would not be for all cars having this, but I would be all for putting it ON CARS WHOSE DRIVER was just convicted of a second DUI. Third DUI should be prison. The driver should also be responsible for the cost of installation AND removal when the car is sold of said device.

        I would also be all for fully autonomous vehicles capable of no more than 25mph driving repeat offenders to work if they can get to work staying off highways and out of school zones.

        Ideally though they should just walk but I don’t think we will ever get there. Driving is a privilege, abuse it and it should be taken away.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          OTOH, if this technology works, we can fire all the lawyers, judges, and LEOs who see DUIs as a huge cash cow. Why do you think the legal limit is so far below actual impairment? Car insurance should be dirt cheap when cars won’t move unless there is a perfectly healthy and focused Übermensch behind the wheel.

        • 0 avatar

          Agreed. In NY, it used to be a second offense through the probation department for the in car device.

          NY is a five star state according to MADD so we do literally everything they ask, so now you fight for a lower impaired charge for your client because an intoxicated means a year of blow-mobile. The suspension is only for six months, but the gadget is for a full year for all first offenders. I’ve had folks move to NYC for that year to avoid driving entirely. $200 to install, plus $200 per month, plus trips to the installer for downloads.

          You also get a mandatory trip to a substance abuse counsellor, and sometimes referral for treatment-I’ve had some clients who benefited from this and stopped entirely.

          There are two kinds of DWI clients….those who had a bad day out, and a much smaller percentage of people who drink all day, and occasionally drive. I’ve also seen more than a few whose fact pattern is….bleary. When you pass out on the highway off ramp and wreck the Honda/Motorcycle/Maserati, it’s hard to argue probable cause. This is why I try to drive like a motorcyclist rides…no protection/endlessly paranoid.

          I’ve seen increasing use of SCRAM bracelets on DWI defendants. Those look like the GPS trackers some probationers get, but they check your sweat for traces of alcohol for full time zero tolerance. These can run $30.00 per day, all paid by defendant.

          There isn’t much competition, if any, in this market. Literally a captive audience.

          In NY or NJ, you are getting lots of intervention as part of the process, and will give up thousands to the State…

          Our second offense is a felony, so thats three years probation with breath machine and a real live probation officer.

          Round three is a lifetime ban.

          • 0 avatar
            RHD

            Speaking of MADD, the founder, Candy Lightner, whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, had to step down under allegations of financial irregularities. She later went to work as a lobbyist for the liquor industry.
            Debra Oberlin, chapter president in Gainesville, Florida, was busted for DUI with a BAC of over 0.23%.
            Just a little irony for your day.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      If I wanted judges imposing mandatory government surveillance of all citizens who are traveling, I’d move to China.

      Why not upload a constant video stream of drivers to ensure they’re not engaged in anything else dangerous? Maybe there’s a kidnapped child in the back seat, and the camera would spot it, who knows? Sounds like a facetious argument, but one guy backed over his kid and now we all have mandatory back-up cameras.

      Meanwhile, in China, there are cameras placed all over cities to photograph car drivers. Not plates, not a matter of red light running, they just want to know who you are, who you’re with, and we’re you’re going. No thanks, Comrade!

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        Just in case you hadn’t noticed, there are cameras all over the place in this country. So, that will save you the trouble and expense of moving to China to be constantly monitored.

        It seems like the only public place that doesn’t have cameras (yet) is the bathrooms.

        Part of the problem with an interlock system like this is that it will act up and keep sober people from driving and let drunk people drive. Add a few more electronic systems to cars and they will be down more time than they are up.

        To quote Col. Fitz (sp?) from the movie “American Beauty”: “This country is going straight to hell.”

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Install these for offenders, fine with me.

      As for me, I don’t drink, ever. Keep that garbage out of my car and out of my life.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      “I’ve been a judge for 7 years. I’ve seen first hand the unnecessary destruction and devastation caused by impaired and distracted drivers.”

      No you haven’t. I actually had to work the scenes for 20 years. I’ve seen first hand the destruction and devastation caused by idiot impaired and distracted drivers. I’ve also seen how political correctness can destroy the careers of careful and honest people who happen to test at 0.08, while a sober idiot was the real cause of the crash.

      Of course, as judge, that wouldn’t happen to you. You would get to keep your job. Judges are superior to everyone else, but you know that.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Nice to see you take a stand for civil liberties, your honor.

    • 0 avatar
      Mackey

      Problems with this are multiple.
      #1- The “ends justify the means”/”If we can save just one life isn’t it worth it?” argument is always noble and effective at tugging on heart strings, but woefully dismissive of the burdens placed on what is actually the vast majority of society.

      #2- the costs associated with designing. installing and maintaining this technology for the auto industry will be forced upon to new car buyers, when transaction prices, amounts financed and payment terms are already a problem. Which straw do we want to throw to create the next crash/bailouts?

      #3- what happens when these sensors fail and leave good motorists stranded- not only creating problems for their schedules, but also their pocketbooks?

      #4- who pays for the car connectivity to cover the cost of the electronic tattle tale? Currently this is a revenue stream for car companies. If it becomes compulsory, that business model needs to change. Right now its my understanding that the perp pays for the fees in many cases, as it should be.

      #5- (and perhaps most important). I do not drink, smoke, do drugs, etc. Never have. So I have no vested interest in dismissing my own bad behavior. BUT IF I DID DRINK AND DRIVE, WHY WOULDN’T I EITHER BY A PRE-TATTLER CAR TO DRIVE EVERY DAY, OR AT LEAST FOR WHEN I GO OUT DRINKING?! No more nanny, more steel/mass around me for my safety.

      Let’s face it- how many NEW cars are driven and wrecked by drunk drivers, versus old pick ups, SUVs, old Buicks, Chrysler Concordes, etc. If I knew I was an offender, I would avoid walking into the police station with the evidence.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      “I’m happy to trade some privacy for safety.”

      Hopefully you can be removed from the bench for lying when you took your oath to uphold the constitution and it won’t have to come to tar and feathers.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        And what part of the Constitution is being contravened? As posted, driving is not a right it is a privilege. Drivers must pass a test and be licensed by the state. Their driving privileges can be removed temporarily or permanently by the state. Their vehicles must be licensed by the state. The state maintains the roads. And the state maintains law enforcement officials/officers to enforce statutory legislation.

        Many jurisdictions have graduated licensing, use ‘point systems’ which can cause a license suspension/loss, allow police officers to remove a person’s driving privileges ‘right on the spot’, have zero tolerance laws regarding impaired driving, mandatory insurance and mandatory vehicle inspection requirements. Many have requirements about how alcohol can be stored/transported in a vehicle (no open bottles within the driver’s reach as an example).

        So what rights are being taken away?

        Nobody has the right to seriously injure another person. Or to put another person’s life into jeopardy.

        And no testing device, or judicial system is 100% accurate, all the time.

        don’t worry automatic driving devices will usurp this.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          See the Fourth Amendment, Mapp v. Ohio, and Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Don’t worry. As a Canadian you are still just a subject.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            Agreed that these should not and cannot be installed on all cars, but once you break the law you can be made to surrender that driving privilege and be made to take measures to prevent driving under the influence again.

            Personally, I believe a second DUI should require you to use public transportation or walk and that would solve the issue with these devices. Unless your first DUI involves an accident caused by you where others are injured. Then you walk day 1. Of course a long prison time if you are the cause and someone was killed.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            4th Amendment: ‘The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.’ Well would not blowing over be probable cause? Just as a law enforcement official can ‘seize your vehicle’ if they believe that you are impaired? And not allowing your vehicle to start is not ‘seizing it’.

            Regarding Mapp: ‘Unreasonable searches and seizures,” may not be used in state law criminal prosecutions in state courts, as well as in federal criminal law prosecutions in federal courts as had previously been the law”. This is not a criminal prosecution issue. So that is probably moot.

            14th Amendment: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Well it does mention ‘privilege’ rather than ‘rights’ so there is an argument. There is no depriving someone of their property/vehicle. They still own/possess it. It does not create an ‘inequality’ in the law, in fact it would treat all equally.

            As to Canadian status. As the military-industrial complex did not take hold here, unlike in the USA, and as we have no underlying fear of ‘others’/terrorism, Canadians actually have greater rights and less government oversight than Americans. The rights of Americans have decreased significantly since at least 9-11, as government oversight has increased by raising the false spectre of a threat to the nation. However due to the structural weaknesses endemic in the American educational system, we realize that many Americans have little knowledge of other nations.

            Anyhow, as previously stated, the ongoing development of autonomous vehicles should render this proposal obsolete, long before it is ever put to a vote.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Wholly disagreed. Punishing the many for the crimes of a few is completely wrong.

      Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. ”

      By the time any “anti-DUI” technology becomes viable, self driving cars will be much more common, and the perceived need for a technological solution to DUI will go the way of the dodo bird.

      There is absolutely no need for this legislation, and it is anti-American at best.

      • 0 avatar

        A breath test is under what is called “implied consent” in many places. There are a few where a judge still need issue a warrant but the vast majority of states say when you take the license you consent to taking a test at the request of the officer. There is often a double track, where if you refuse, no matter what Court does, DMV will suspend you for a year for simple failure to blow-even if your case was somehow dismissed.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    100% of drivers screened to find the 0.000000001% of criminal drunk drivers. Pass.

    We earned our license. That is that.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    “Falling routinely kills more people under the age of 66 than drunk driving, but we’ve yet to require the daily wearing of parachutes and cumbersome inflatable jumpsuits.”

    Someone falling off a ladder isn’t likely to kill anyone else.

  • avatar
    Menar Fromarz

    Now we need to screen for other forms of impairment. Weed, prescription meds, and all other forms of things that cause us to be “ less than on our game “. Jesus it’s getting hard to enjoy driving at times what with on board nannies and the gov.
    Actually not really, it may seem like it. Having said that, in my area on my 8 mile drive to town I often muse just how many power poles have been replaced due to someone snapping them as they head for the rhubarb. It’s quite a few ! Nannies ftw!

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      The weed problem is getting out of control. I frequently smell that stuff wafting out of some ratty 300 or Altima when trapped at intersections.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Walked by a car yesterday walking into work and smelled what I thought was pipe smoke — and I sure as $hit didn’t see the driver smoking a pipe! Didn’t actually see Mary Jane in the car with him, but my guess is not too many twentysomethings smoke pipes!

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Sorry, this is going too far.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Come here Billy and sit on daddy’s lap.

    SHUT UP ABOUT MY BREATH YOU LITTLE BRAT!

    Now, breathe hard into this tube so daddy can start the car…

  • avatar
    bryanska

    Not surprised. Car culture + booze culture = dumb behavior by a few, but enough. I’m not a huge fan of booze. It makes people do dumb stuff. We have a culture that pushes booze from every direction. Beer culture for men, wine culture for women, happy hour culture at work… Plus my town Minneapolis is THROWING money at artisinal distilleries and cider brewers, and we’ve all been cheering the rise of microbreweries. All with parking lots. Two adults can’t get together in a room and not think about having a drink to “take the edge off”. And we’re surprised?

    When MLB pitchers can’t control themselves, the league steps in with bean rules. Same with people. As long as adults love to drink, and drive, the two will come together. I don’t want these things either, but now I have to deal with it because most people can’t handle one damn hour with another person in a social setting without drinking.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I’m a better driver on four drinks than my wife is sober. And I’m not kidding.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    …At best, all of this collected data will go straight to your insurer ⁠— undoubtedly factoring into your monthly payments and earning the automaker a few bucks in the process. You don’t want to know my worst-case scenario; it’s almost too bleak to seriously entertain…

    This and so much more. Saving lives is important, but not at this price. The future looks great – not. How much will all this add to the cost of a vehicle? Imagine having to pay a $2,000 repair bill on it when it breaks… I resent even paying for an EDR that I don’t want.

  • avatar

    Why focus on drunk drivers only? Driver may be incapable of driving for other reasons. Like drugs or being crazy or mentally ill. I suggest every time driver tries to start the car to run the suite of psychological tests and puzzles on the LED screen to find out does driver have mental ability to control the car in challenging situations and also is he a potential terrorist.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Lives are at stake!

    Cars should be made out of foam rubber to protect pedestrians.
    Roads should be closed or have a maximum speed limit of 20mph whenever it rains. Closed with no exceptions when it snows.
    One strike laws for people who don’t use their turn signals.
    Phones should automatically pair with cars and prevent the vehicle from moving when the phone is in use.
    To prevent wrong pedal crashes, any time a gas pedal is pressed more than 70% from a standing start the car should turn off.

    And believe me, this one will show up soon:
    Cars should use GPS to limit the maximum speed it can go based on the speed limit of the road it is on.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      “Cars should use GPS to limit the maximum speed it can go based on the speed limit of the road it is on.”

      Not unlikely at all. In South Korea, some taxis have phone-based GPS systems that display the speed limit, and start blinking and beeping like mad if it’s exceeded. Another generation or two to integrate that software into the car itself, and it won’t matter how hard you press down on the accelerator.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Which will drive me into a homicidal frenzy! My Accord has the sign-recognition stuff which flashes the speed limit on the IP and in the HUD display. Amazing how many 20mph school zones there are! And of course, just like my current car, a future car would probably have no compensation for hours, or if the lights aren’t otherwise flashing, or if the zone is not otherwise enforced! So I get to plod through a half-mile school zone at a walking pace — at 3am on a July morning, when most sane people are asleep, and there isn’t a cop, schoolkids, or even other TRAFFIC around!

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    Yet another reason for my decision to only buy older cars. Fuel injection – yes. This utter garbage – no.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Serious question: If this is not ideal (I tend to agree), what can or should be done to address this issue?

    (Side note: Debbie Dingell is a genuinely nice person.)

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Hang one drunk driver on the Times square and show on TV. There will be 90% less drunk drivers after this

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Debbie Dingell is everything that’s wrong with Congress. She inherited her seat from her husband who these inherited it from his father. Didn’t we fight a revolution to get rid of this kind of system? I’ll take a straight shooter that might come off as a dick, but doesn’t try to screw me over a “nice person” that comes up with ways to control the proletariat.

      • 0 avatar
        Paul Alexander

        ‘I’ll take a straight shooter that might come off as a dick, but doesn’t try to screw me over a “nice person” that comes up with ways to control the proletariat.’

        Well put, we are living under the tyranny of the tone of voice. You can say anything you like, so long as it’s said in the manner of an in-the-closet new age Christian youth pastor.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      What is being done is more than enough. There isn’t much else we can do as a country that doesn’t directly violate someones personal liberty. DUI is already a cash cow for county courts and attorneys, and in many states, a DUI is worse than a domestic violence arrest (which is ridiculous).

      Self driving vehicles and crash avoidance systems will eventually mitigate this concern significantly anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        As was stated earlier, you could have had one last beer, but otherwise are perfectly competent to drive, but then your life is turned inside-out because some hipster doofus is paying more attention to his phone instead of driving, blows a red light, and T-bones you!

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I start hoping for civil war. This country needs to remove idiots from their positions. And have this done democratically don’t seem feasible.

  • avatar
    dantes_inferno

    Looks like taking the restomod route with an older vehicle is the way to go these days.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    This is police state garbage and hopefully never sees the light of day. The way I see it, as long as any old Joe can walk into a gun show and walk out with an arsenal, how does this same government have a right to single out autos like this.

    Last I heard, cigarettes were still for sale at millions of locations across the country…legally. Talk about picking the wrong public health and safety concern.

    Unfortunately, I think we have a future where our insurers will eventually require telemetry data from all insureds. This fits neatly into that vision.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      “Last I heard, cigarettes were still for sale at millions of locations across the country…legally. Talk about picking the wrong public health and safety concern.”

      Off topic but I was just talking about how many people die each year from cigarettes, but 20 some people die from an illness caused by vaping and the gov’t is comin down hard on them.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    Oh great, more electronic nanny crap to drive the price of a new car up. Plus when one of these electronic devices fails or just gets glitchy, my car wont start.

    Monitoring systems like this are the slippery slopes where our privacy and freedoms slowly start eroding away. In the name of safety.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Thanks BRN for your brief, spot on comment.

    Canon shot may or may not be a judge, but his perspective is more in line with China and the old USSR than what used to be the USA.

    So much for innocent until proven guilty.

    Now it’s “ if you’ve done nothing wrong, you shouldn’t mind”

    Just one more sign America is on the express lane to hell

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Sounds like the makings of a typical government plan: Make everyone pay for the mistakes of the few. It’s easier, duh.

  • avatar
    TR4

    How about a lie detector test to prevent politicians from voting on bills if they have been lying? Oh wait…

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    “Privacy” is long gone.
    With tongue firmly in cheek…
    If someone is caught driving drunk or stoned, remove the steering wheel airbag and install a sawed off shotgun. After 3 attempts to start the car while drunk/stoned/high on pills the shotgun fires.

    You might get a little hint here that I do not care for drunk/stoned drivers.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I’m 50 and have seen a LOT of progress on drunk driving prevention and punishment since I first started driving. When I was a kid I don’t think people pulled over drunk got more than warning and a shake of the head from the police. Do that now and you’re blowing into a breathalizer every day and likely bankrupt from court costs, fines, and your insurance bill.

    I don’t disagree that it’s still an issue and would like to see it eliminated. I also now have a 15 year old son who just got his driving permit so my awareness of crappy driver behavior in our town is on extra high alert these days.

    However, I do think it’s crazy how car manufacturers are being tasked with solving every potential problem with new technology while tobacco companies and gun manufacturers seem to be free of scrutiny. More technology on cars causes more reliability issues and costs everyone who wants to buy a car regardless of their driving history.

    After decades of reduced driving fatality rates we’ve seen a rise in recent years. I don’t have any scientific data on the issue but I’d hazard to say that distracted driving due to technology is a primary (if not THE) cause of this. Traffic doesn’t move at lights because people are too busy talking or texting… people are swerving and driving too slowly because they are texting… it goes on and on. There is a huge social stigma with drunk driving now (as there should be) and the penalties for getting caught are horribly expensive. I’m all for forcing interlock devices for people dumb enough to do this, but for every car?

    In terms of priorities, why not figure out a way to lock out text messages entirely in moving cars? How about a frequency that locks out a phone a few seconds before a red light is about to turn green again? This would probably save TONS of CO2 if more cars could make it through traffic, no? Why are we adding MORE technology and touch screens that force drivers’ eyes off the road but add little to the actual act of driving?

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      I tend to agree. But which is a greater ‘threat’ to your privacy, or ‘pursuit of happiness’, lock-outs based on breath testing or lock-outs based on technology use?

      When their is a major issue the state intervenes.

      For example in suspected cases/reports of domestic violence in Ontario, the police must lay charges, regardless of the wishes of the allegedly abused spouse.

      Dueling has been outlawed.

      There are age requirements for marriage and sexual consent.

      And your right to own other humans as property was withdrawn by the state.

      • 0 avatar
        chuckrs

        “And your right to own other humans as property was withdrawn by the state.”

        In the US, it was withdrawn through assent of the people and a vicious Civil War that resulted in the death of 1% of the population. And it wasn’t popular with ‘The State’, even on the union side. Throughout much of the world, it still hasn’t been withdrawn at all. Pick up a copy of A Crime So Monstrous, the title a quote from William Wilberforce, who made it his life’s work to abolish slavery in England and the Commonwealth. Including Canada. In 1834. After decades of work. It was an unpopular decision with Liverpool slavers, among others. If there ever was a time we had benign and wise elites, its long past and a rare occurence.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Don’t worry. The Democrats have already brought slavery back to Libya and all Post Modernist Critical Theory attacks on Christianity are fundamentally about paving the way for child sex slaves in the west. EVs are doing their parts in the Congo too!

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    First thing that came to mind is a quote variously attributed to Mark Twain or a New York court. “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session”. Not completely on point, but close enough. Here are Udall and Scott virtue signaling, probably without a clue of the obstacles to simple, low cost and reliable implementation, independent of the societal issues. Actually, a better quote from the past would be Will Rogers – “When I make a joke, everyone laughs. When Congress makes a joke, its the law”.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Will Rogers also has this: “The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don’t know when it’s through if you are a crook or a martyr.”

  • avatar
    Sceptic

    This system will take more lives that it will save. To wit:

    1. How many people will freeze to death or suffer severe frost bite in the northern states when the system freezes over and leaves them stranded? Same with heat in the South.
    2. Rear end collisions when the system hits the brakes.
    3. Distraction of blowing into tube while driving!

    Road to hell is paved with good intentions.


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