The Next Mandate You’ll Be Paying For: Brake Assist

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Do you feel the need for a car that brakes for you? Are you interested in paying more for a car that brakes for you? Apparently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency that tells us what kinds of cars we’ll drive and how they’ll be equipped – is on the verge of telling us that we will have cars that brake for us. (News story here.)brake assist 1

And of course, it won’t be NHTSA that’s paying for it.

We will be paying for it.

It’s called “Brake Assist” – and it’s a feature (currently optional) that can be found in several higher-end new cars. It’s a high-tech form of idiot-proofing, designed to end-run the problem of inattentive drivers by having the car pay attention instead. The vehicle is fitted with radar or cameras that have the ability to detect objects in the vehicle’s path. If the driver doesn’t react to the presence of these potential obstacles within a predetermined time, the system takes over and automatically applies the brakes. Some systems are capable of completely stopping the car without the driver even putting his foot over the brake pedal.Print

Cue broken record… making this technology part of the required-by-law package of standard safety equipment in all new cars will “save lives.” Which is probably true – but then, so would outlawing driving altogether.

You know what might really save lives? Encouraging people to be better drivers. Expecting them to pay attention to what’s going on around them. To be prepared to brake for themselves when the need to do so arises.

Ah, but that would be expecting too much – and besides, there’s neither money nor power in that.brake 3

Adding Brake Assist will add another line-item to the bottom line cost of new cars. How much per car, it’s hard to say – because right now, Brake Assist is integrated with a roster of other complex system in expensive high-end cars. But figure a couple hundred bucks at least up front – and potentially a lot more down the road, as the various components begin to fail and have to be replaced.

The average new car’s braking system is already a very complex system because of add-ons such as ABS and traction/stability control (which works through the ABS system). Like these features or hate these features, there’s no debate about the expense of these features. Just one example: An ABS-equipped car has a part called an ABS pump. This is the device that pumps the brakes for you, in order to avoid the wheels locking up during a panic stop and so, avoiding an uncontrolled skid. That’s great. But if/when the pump goes bad – and this happens pretty regularly, because people tend not to get their brake systems flushed as often as they ought to and old, contaminated brake fluid is very hard on ABS pumps – the vehicle’s owner is typically looking at a $500-plus bill for a new pump.

You might remember the days – not all that long ago – when you could service the entire brake system for a third that amount.FILE: Transportation Secretary LaHood To Resign

Point being, there are costs involved. And given that it’s us – each of us, as individuals – who will pay them – shouldn’t we have a say in the matter? There’s something startlingly obnoxious about a bureaucrat in an agency deciding for us – and then handing us the bill. Such a bureaucrat is one David Friedman, the new deputy (stellvertreter des fuhrers) head of NHTSA. Friedman was formerly a “transportation analyst” at the Union of Concerned Scientists – a left-wing authoritarian outfit that’s one of the epicenters of For Your Own Good at Gunpoint. He, of course, “earns” a six-figure income extracted by force from unwilling victims (that’s us) and so, probably won’t notice or much mind paying an extra couple hundred bucks for his next new car, equipped with the mandatory Brake Assist. But what about the rest of us? Perhaps we’d like to have the choice. Our choice. Since we’re being “asked” to pay the bill, after all.wreck 1

But the real cost ought to be measured in terms of ever-lowering competence expectations. Brake Assist will arguably make drivers less attentive – since after all, the car is now paying attention for them. And less attentive drivers are – wait for it – less safe drivers. Brake Assist might not work one fine day – then what? Will the driver of a car so equipped who expected his car to stop for him be consoled by the fact that it should have stopped but didn’t – and the car ended up plowing into something – or someone?bad driver 1

Granted, that’s not likely to be a common occurrence (even though it could and probably will happen as no man-made system is or ever can be free of flaws; eventually, everything falls apart/stop working; it’s called entropy). But we can already see the effects of dumbed-down driving all around us. Cars have never been more capable than they are right now. But drivers – on average – have never been worse. There is a relationship. When it took more skill – and attentiveness – to operate a motor vehicle, the typical driver had to – of necessity – acquire some skills and practice them. This made him a better – and thus, safer – driver. As cars take less and less skill to operate, the result is going to be, almost axiomatically, lower-skilled drivers.eloi 1

Technology is only as good as the people who use it. A highway full of Eloi in automated or nearly automated cars conjures a bleak picture of a future, not too far off, in which passivity trumps competence. In which people don’t do things but expect things to do for them.

It’s a world that appeal to guys like David Friedman, perhaps. But it makes me want to run for the hills, screaming at the top of my lungs.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  1. Are the ‘Big Bang’ legal defenses valid?

    Sheldon, the eccentric, nerdy know-it-all, decides to challenge his red-light-camera ticket in court. He presents three separate defenses for his violation: 1. He argues that the proceeding is unjust because he cannot confront his accuser (the camera) 2. He asserts the legal doctrine of necessity and 3. He simply asserts, “Penny made me do it.” Each defense, of course, is immediately dismissed by the judge in comic fashion. But, in fact, in a real court, would a judge snicker or find merit in his geeky defenses?

    [Back story: Previous Episode Leading To Ticket]
    Sheldon investigates cries for help from across the hall: Penny has slipped in the shower and dislocated her shoulder. Sheldon is enlisted to get her to the hospital emergency room. Penny is neither dressed (yet) nor can she drive her car. Sheldon has to help Penny get dressed with his eyes closed. He inadvertently tries to put her breast in her sleeve. He has yet to drive a real car and his driving simulator experience was a disaster. The trip to the hospital is slow and Sheldon pushes Penny’s rage closer and closer to the brink but they get there fine and, by the end of the episode, Penny (under the influence of strong analgesics) is rather happy with Sheldon’s help. She gets him to sing Soft Kitty with her as a round. (While driving Penny to the hospital Sheldon is photographed by a traffic camera running a red light and is given a ticket, although this is not known to the characters until the later third season episode “The Excelsior Acquisition”.)

    Big Bang Theory – Sheldon goes to Jail for Disrespecting Traffic Judge

    The Trouble With Tickets
    I am not, technically, a lawyer, but I did watch numerous episodes of ‘Perry Mason’, and on one occasion, when I got a traffic ticket, I represented myself in court, successfully pleading nolo contendere (Latin, meaning “Can I pay by check?”).
    — Dave Barry, “Courtroom Confessions”

    An absolute certainty in Sitcoms is that when a character gets ticketed by a cop for a traffic violation, he never just shrugs, says “Ah well,” and pays the fine. (Unless, it’s a Day In The Life episode which has a chain of bad luck happening, and getting ticketed is one of the events). Virtually every single time, the character will decide to take it to traffic court, fight in the name of the little guy, and do his best Perry Mason/other cliché lawyer technique. He’ll always spend more money fighting the ticket than just paying it off and going about his business.

    See also It’s the Principle of the Thing.

    • There’s obviously differences in our legal systems Tor, so you’d need to find the best way around your own system.

      Article 15 of the Covenant On Civil and Political Rights, which clearly states the following:

      “No-one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time when the criminal offence was committed. If, subsequent to the commission of the offence, provision is made by law for the imposition of the lighter penalty, the offender shall benefit thereby.”

      This was brought into effect by the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Act 1986. Note that it depends whether the offence is actually “criminal”. However, most traffic offences are actually treated as such, so additional costs cannot apply.

      Of course Sheldon’s attempts won’t work, because it’s simply TV. But the defence against cameras work in our system. First I ask why I’m being denied my right to cross examine the informant (camera). If the prosecution argues some bullshit about that, I ask that he provides the necessary tracking numbers from the National Standards Commission that MUST be assigned to every measuring device that’s used for trade or revenue. No speed measuring device in Australia has these numbers because they cannot measure accurately every time. Even the veggie scales in the supermarkets must have this number. Therefore the devices are unlawful.

      There’s often lots more I throw at these things to increase reasonable doubt. Especially the point where the original fine itself is unconstitutional and therefore unlawful from the outset (Imperial Acts S.8(12).

      • One human being with right mind and soul can defeat a thousand of them robotic trick or treatin thugs. Go and stick their bloody bums on the barbie.

        Let me give you a quick summary of the issues you are facing.

        1/. Don’t introduce what the police were doing as any part of your defense. Whether they were doing the right thing or not has nothing to do with whether you were doing the right thing or not. You aren’t the police police and there are other avenues for pursuing police misconduct.

        2/. Decide whether you HONESTLY think you are in the right. If you KNOW that the police were wrong and you were not speeding then there are steps you can take (ranging from free to very expensive).

        3/. Write a letter to the Superintendent of the traffic branch. Explain your case in detail WITHOUT any reference to any (perceived) police misconduct. If you feel your entire case revolves around an error made by the police officer then you need to see a lawyer that specializes in traffic law. Unless you are sure of the exact legalities regarding police procedures regarding the use of speed detectors you have no chance of winning on your own.

        4/. If you write a letter your notice will be suspended pending an investigation. The matter will be referred to the issuing officer and a decision will be made. If you are lucky the notice will be cancelled or reduced. If not you will be notified that your next option to to go before the courts.

        5/. Unless there were any independent witnesses it will ultimately come down to your word against theirs. I won’t say it’s hopeless but I wouldn’t bet on you winning.
        – – – – –

        Speed cameras must only be used in accordance with the original site criteria. If any of the conditions of the road change significantly, such as;

        Speed zone;
        Number of lanes;
        The speed camera is not to be used for enforcement purposes.
        – – – – – –
        Given that its a multanova not a laser, you have way less chance of getting out of it.

        Lasers are humanly operated by cops, so there is always room for human error and also the fact that cops are 99% of the time only trained in the use of the laser equipment and not certified to calibrate it. Therefore if the cop was the person who calibrated the unit and they are not certified to do so… you would have a point to argue.

        Multanovas are setup by radar operators (not cops) and are trained to set them up correctly. There are ways that the units can produce incorrect speed readings, such as:
        1) if you were changing lanes at the exact time of the photo
        2) if there is large cyclone type fencing or metal side railings, etc… anything that could interfere with a radio signal
        Because they are setup by qualified people and are a “set and forget” device (aka no human operation) there is little room for error and your own arguments will not get you off without hard evidence like GPS tracking log or something.

        • Tor, we had a case here recently where the speed cam system was entered by unauthorised personnel. That set a precedent where nobody could ensure that photographs were not and could not be tampered with. Even when they find the photo is too dark and enhance it, it’s essentially been tampered with.

          The issue also concerns their encryption MD5 algorithm. Plenty of sites out there show how it can be cracked, so photos that are intercepted can be tampered with in this way as well. Some no longer use MD5 but if it can be encrypted, it can also be cracked. In any case, here’s a sample letter I usually send to the issuing orificer. Most of the time I get a reply stating that the issue is cancelled because it’s obvious they MUST provide this evidence under law but can’t:
          John Smith
          10 Smith Street
          VIC 3333

          28th April 2008

          Senior Constable Iva Radar
          Smithville Traffic Management Unit
          1 Copper Street
          VIC 3333

          Obligation Number: 0000000000
          Re: Infringement Notice 23456789

          Dear Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE,

          I have a right under the Imperial Acts Application Act, a law of all the States, to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Your request for payment/tax in this matter is a clear breach of that right and I’m aggrieved by your unlawful attempt to tax a payment from me when I have committed no criminal offence, offended/broken no law and caused no personal harm to any resident.

          This letter is to serve as my written notification that I formally object to the above alleged infringement as I have done nothing wrong. I request that you Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE now provide certified PROOF that I am guilty of some offence by way of a sworn affidavit and supporting documentation that substantiates your claim that the Speed Measuring Device that has been used to allegedly record the speed of my automobile on 10th April 2007 conforms to the National Measurement Act 1960 (Cth) in respect of its use for making measurements for any legal and monetary purpose or similar.

          I am seeking certification that the speed measuring device is both a legal and certified measurement device to measure and record in accordance with the Commonwealth legal units of measurement, as defined by the National Measurement Act 1960 (Cth). The only lawful way of doing this is to provide the specific NSC (National Standards Commission) number that has been allocated to this device and by providing a copy of the certificate that has been issued for this device under Regulation 13 of said Act.

          I am also seeking certification that the device was used in accordance with the training manual and operators manual that relates to this device and that the operator adhered to all the guidelines/policies for the use of this device in the state of Victoria, issued by VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE.

          I seek further certification that Code/Road Rule 1234 is lawfully part of a current, legal and valid law/Act in the State of Victoria. I will require certification that this law has in fact been lawfully enacted by the parliament of Victoria in the Queen’s name, as it is required to be, subject to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (UK) which was approved again as a result of the 1999 Referendum.

          I will endeavour to dis-charge the associated tax, conditional on the grounds that I receive from you the sworn affidavit and supporting documentation that substantiates your claim that the above documents do indeed exist. Upon receipt of these documents and certification, I will require further information from you as to how I am able to lawfully, constitutionally, meaningfully and conscientiously extinguish or dis-charge an alleged debt/tax in excess of AU$20 in the Commonwealth of Australia without breaching the Currency Act 1965, specifically Sections 9, 11, 16 and 22, considering that the highest denomination coin in common circulation in the Commonwealth of Australia is the AU$2 coin. Additionally, the conflict that exists regarding the face value of coins makes it impossible to value the Australian dollar.

          Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE shall produce proof of claim within 28 days upon receipt hereof with the affidavit and attached supporting documentation as aforementioned, or Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE shall:

          1. admit and agree that no such documentation can be produced by Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE; and,

          2. admit and agree that Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE cannot enforce speed limits by means of the readings obtained from a device that is not compliant with the laws of the Commonwealth in respect of legal metrology; and,

          3. agree that where there is an inconsistency between a law of the Commonwealth and a law of a State, the law of the Commonwealth shall prevail and the law of the State shall be invalid to the extent of the inconsistency as set out in Section 109 of the Commonwealth Constitution Act 1900UK; and,

          4. agree that Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE are bound by covering clause 5 of the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900UK; and,

          5. agree that Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE knowingly, willfully and intentionally failed to present proof of claim within the time, specified and allotted herein; and,

          6. agree that the conditions required in this Notice of Objection are not frivolous or vexatious; and,

          7. agree to be prohibited from taking unlawful action based on a radar reading against John Smith by way of any penalty or any lawsuit or any procedure for taking or confiscation or allocating demerit points in relation to a driver’s licence, which may occur as a result of this alleged infringement ; and,

          8. agree to be prohibited from taking unlawful action based on a law that has not been correctly enacted against John Smith by way of any penalty or any lawsuit or any procedure for taking or confiscation or allocating demerit points in relation to a driver’s licence, which may occur as a result of this alleged infringement ; and,

          9. agree that no officer or representative of VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE may attempt to perform any act which is unlawful, or falsely represents its true intention and that they and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE are acting in full accord with the laws of the Commonwealth and the laws of Her Majesty the Queen in the State of Victoria; and,

          10. agree that any such attempt may constitute a breach of Section 43 of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth); and,

          11. agree that John Smith has and retains the right to claim damages as a result of any adverse or harmful effects upon him brought about by the actions of Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE and/or it’s officers; and

          12. agree that this constitutes that Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE may reject this consensual agreement by way of providing the requested sworn affidavit and attached supporting documentation within the time stipulated in this agreement, and in no other written or verbal manner.

          If Iva Radar and VICTORIA POLICE SERVICE agree to the aforementioned terms and conditions of agreement and contract, then simply do nothing within the specified time for response or answer the above points incompletely.

          Yours Sincerely,

          John Smith

      • In the USA they make automated enforcement a ‘civil offense’ which means it goes to admin court. Here a government employee or contractor serves as both prosecutor and judge.

        IME, with a matter regarding legally storing a car in my driveway this employee simply angrily declared that he ‘knows the law’ and refused to read it. With other experiences I have determined that there is effectively no written law in the USA for traffic/driving/automotive matters until one appeals to higher courts. Of course the cost of appealing to those courts exceeds the fines so they get the money they want either way. I don’t believe its refunded if one wins, but I may be mistaken. Even if it is, going to the higher courts requires a priest of the temple (a lawyer of the court) to have a reasonable chance at victory. You got to know somebody who knows somebody because it’s primarily a social system, not one based on written rules.

        So in the end, it’s either pay the fine or pay many times that amount and dedicate a lot of time to not pay the fine. Then the case goes into the memory hole and the shear number of people running the system in a populous area means the next crew won’t even know it existed. Thus it’s not like the work can even be used by others let alone one’s self in the future. Even worse is usually they’ll dismiss the charges after one fights enough, spending enough money, which means no precedent is set at all.

    • Or better yet that show display hows someone should not pretend a jack-of-all-trades expert just because they’re an expert in one field. Then again Sheldon poisons the well by referring to Penny a a borderline sociopath before he issues tries the “it was an emergency” argument.Clover

  2. They have similar systems in a lot of freight trucks. Bendix, Wabco, and Eaton all make systems that can take the throttle away and apply the brakes for stability and roll over control. They have systems with sensors that can “see” a piece of metal the size of a license plate and apply the brakes to prevent collisions. They also have a system that reads speed limit signs and won’t allow the truck to go over the posted speed. And all of these systems send a record to the company telling them that an “event” has occurred when the brakes have to be applied or the driver enters a corner too fast or the truck goes over the speed limit.

    • Well I suppose thats the way it works on all other things. First they apply the theory on people who have no choice (people in big companies), then they transfer the gleaned technology and knowledge so than no one has any choice. Voluntary which is never voluntary eventually becomes collusion for the safety of the children for the entire village.

    • Systems that can read speed limit signs making it impossible to speed? Hmm.. that’ll suffer a very quiet death because it impacts massive revenue. Then again, the cops will be forced to claim it’s inaccurate and fine you anyway, because if nobody’s speeding, the cops will get a slap on the wrist for not making money.

  3. I have this rental toyota corolla that has an, “anti’skid” device on it. It really sucks. Makes it totally impossible to do any power slides on a gravel road, as the front wheels just lock up. If you power through it sort of works, but the least reduction in power and the whole skid falls apart.

    • It’s a shame all this tech is taking away real seat-of-the-pants driving, not to mention the necessary skill that goes with it. If only there were no clovers, there’d be no need for all that crap.

      Here we have the Traffic Accident Commission chucking ads on our TV’s depicting some errant pedestrian stepping out in front of a car, then going over the bonnet. The whole premise of the ad blames the driver for the accident by being just 5k over the limit. Then they run it again with the driver at the limit and she only gets a bruised leg (1min):

      It’s obvious who’s at fault, but they blame speed so they can justify all their revenue cams and such. Had the guy been doing 70, she’d have slammed into his rear door. Had he forgotten his keys or been doing 80, the car would have missed her entirely and she’d likely be cleaned up by someone else. It’s in what they DON’T say that’s the key.

      It’s basically false advertising, if not outright lies. They spend millions of our bucks on this shit coming up with self-serving scenarios that have nothing to do with exceeding any arbitrary limit at all, but foist the blame on a speedo showing some number higher than “the limit”, regardless if the thing’s even accurate. You can see more of their lies here:

      • Rev, the “pedestrian friendly” bs they started with a decade or so ago is ridiculous concerning light trucks. Instead of having a bumper you can put against something and push it, you have plastic chrome over what is basically heavy sheetmetal, a disaster for pickups. Now when you buy a pickup you need for work, just figure in another $1,000 for a big cowcatcher/push bar.

        • Exactly right Eight. I don’t know why we’re being so pedestrian friendly when it’s so obvious they want to be flattened. In our country areas we all go for full-sized bull bars because kangaroos and emus can grow pretty big and in the outback there are few fences because the sheer size of some farms, the cows are only controlled by cattle grids in the road.

          It’s a wonder these pedestrian-unfriendly add-ons haven’t been banned because they defeat the purpose in one swoop.

          Maybe I should have whispered that – it’s probably their next move..

          • Rev, another thing that’s virtually exploded in the last decade is the number of white tail deer and wild hogs. A big steel bumper takes care of the hogs to a great degree although they can do a lot of damage to the suspension and underside but the deer are bad about jumping and taking out any part of a vehicle including the windshield and you too. The big cowcatcher is an advantage and a vehicle saver often but you should still be able to use a pickup to push with just the way it comes from the factory. Now that you’ve said it out loud, the damned tx. legislature will probably pass some ridiculous law next week, thanks a lot. Naw, I’m sure if they haven’t thought of it someone else has and they’re trying to figure how the state, insurance companies, hospitals or all of them can make the most money. Screw the consumer is their motto….

      • The speed and pedestrian thing. I’ve encountered this nonsense before. Those who argue it are easily shut down by pointing out that hitting a pedestrian is a matter of timing of how close one is when the pedestrian steps in front of the vehicle. thus what the real aim is, survivability of the collision. If they want to make collisions with a pedestrian ‘safe’ there needs to be a universal 5mph (or other absurdly low number) speed limit. The data supports this. Their data. Of course they find such low speeds unreasonable but now they are just arguing their opinion. The data and the physics are clear.

  4. Brake assist can be disable just as airbags can easily be disabled (yes, even getting rid of the “airbag “fault” light–not by removing the bulb).

  5. That’s the spirit Turd Burglestein! Today was troll the no such agency day but I didn’t participate as I was web serfing around on the neo-feudal plantation. Besides they will set their filters to be lax today. The idea was for as many people as possible to insert words in their email, chat, twattering, and text that will set off their bots or lackey bootlicking drooling mongoloid government employee. It will only work if people do it all the time. If you have a chatty Cathy girlfriend or teenage daughter give her the phone and let her rip for hours. If your buddy or son enjoys obscure baseball stats and anecdotes let him have a power surfing fest on your machine for hours. Enjoy listening to and sorting that no such agency.

  6. I think it was back in the 1980’s when the whole “smart highway” idea was introduced. That is, your car’s computer would be linked to wires imbedded into the pavement via some sort of radio transmission, and the car would drive itself. All you would have to do is input your destination into the computer, then sit back, and relax. And since all the cars on the road would be linked to this wiring, a big mainframe somewhere would ensure that every car traveled at a “reasonable” speed and kept “safe” distances from other cars.

    In short, the ultimate Clover utopian fantasy.

    Of course, the whole “wire-in-the-pavement” thing is highly impractical, hugely expensive, and would be a maintenance nightmare.

    Today, however, the whole “car drives itself” thing is much more possible using GPS, sensors in/around every car, etc. Personally, I’d prefer to drive my own car. But if I’m on a long road-trip and feel tired, the idea of giving driving control to the car’s computer while I lean back and sleep for a few hours is, admittedly, somewhat appealing. However, I’m not quite that willing to give that much control over to technology which can fail. It’s best to just pull off into a rest area for a snooze.

    As for this whole “brake assist” deal…..if every car gets equipped with this….with a bunch of cars all being around each other, sensing each other, and reacting accordingly….I think it would only cause massive traffic jams and gridlock on the highways.

    The thing that burns me the most is the fact that these damn bureaucrats think they are justified to force us to do these things, AND pay for it out of our own pockets, because it’s for “saaaaafety!” …….and for the chirrun. Don’t ferget the chirrun!!

    • Cloverism, guess you didn’t grow up reading Mechanix Illustrated. I don’t remember the decade, think it was an old 30’s issue, no later than the 40’s though I recall the super highway of the future, futuristic cars doing triple digits on a huge highway with people inside obviously chatting and not facing the road. That old dream has probably been around since before there were highways. I recall when the first computerized vehicles came out and everyone again said soon we’d just be passengers and that caused a resurgence of the old “robot” car issue. Of course sci fi from way back has described these very roadways. While I enjoy a spirited drive in a performance car, I only look at my next trip in an auto as a chore. Too many LEO’s. At least all the highways in Tx. now are at least 75mph speed limits or above.

      • I think I recall seeing stuff older that the 1930s. I think there were automated roads in “Metropolis” (the silent film)

      • “At least all the highways in Tx. now are at least 75mph speed limits or above.”

        That’s the part that sickens me. I think all drivers that were booked for exceeding that stupid 55 on roads that are now 75 or above should file a class action suit.

        • Ya, Rev, I do a slow burn thinking about all those years I was hassled without end trying to make a living on those very same roads I would very rarely even reach 75mph on with those same trucks. I got my first ticket for driving over 55mph THE first day it went into effect. Of course the ticket was “observed” since the radar didn’t operate properly when they were moving back then. I used to have concurrent tickets pending DD courses in more than one county. You could legally do that but they had no way of coordinating so I’d do one DD class and present the certificate to a couple different JP’s AND my insurance company to try to recoup a bit of what I spent, not counting a full 8-9 hrs of pure BS I’d heard countless times before. Speed Kills, sure it does, can’t get away from the only real laws I know of, the laws of physics. So what we should do is what HotRod said, drive at 5mph and be done with it. Hell, even way back then Tx. had done enough studies they knew the most danger came from the differences in speed on a roadway regardless of the speed being traveled.

          • Duh, I meant you could “not” legally do that. I don’t know if you can still get away with it or not….using DD driving courses for more than one instance during a time you shouldn’t be able to. it used to be something like 90 days between tickets but the counties weren’t coordinated.

          • Ah yes, the differences in speed. They’re supposed to set speed limits according to the 85th percentile rule. It’s not the best idea, but by and large these days they don’t even do that. Many people assigned to recommend speed limits for certain roads here to the “authorities” to set them, eventually quit their jobs in disgust because they are often refused and the road gets a limit 20k under the recommendation.

            Speed limits began to be set on the advent of the first cars. In Britain they were set to 4mph – pretty much walking pace! It began as a ridiculous farce because nobody had proper speedometers in the first place.

            It’s time people collectively remove their number plates and ignore that irrelevant and distracting needle on the dashboard.

      • Eightsouthman – You are correct, my error. The whole idea goes back to the 40’s at least. Thinking back now, I seem to recall seeing an old Popular Mechanics magazine at my grandparents’ house which, on the cover, featured the stereotypical 1950’s American family riding in a huge, plush car……with the driver being a robot. But I do believe the first time the “wires in the pavement” angle was thrown out there was in the 80’s.

  7. The entire thing seemed utterly stupid from the gitgo. I heard about the shitstorms they(idiots who use it)had between each other, groups, etc. over some really minor crap, women, I should add. I noticed right off that men who could find each other in the real world didn’t talk that trash….wonder why? Turd B’s account is the only one I’ve seen so I guess he busted my cherry by getting me to go there. Thanks Turd, now I’m just another internet whore.

    • By the time I read your comment Eight, you and Turd Bergenstein were seperated by about 30 other comments on here. It took me a 3 reads to figure out Turd B’s account you were referring to was Turd Bergenstein. But I too never seen a FB account like that and its utterly disgusting, though I seriously doubt he has too many NSA followers myself. I mean I lost my appetite just reading a few comments from the guy.

      Interesting vision Turd but I’m having to say I’m glad I never signed up for Twitter or FB for the images alone are what I expect of social media.

  8. I love the anti failbook sentiments. Fakebook founder Suckerberg calls his followers dumb fucks and they are. A bunch of malignant narcissists who think the world cares about what they ate for dinner last night and what shit ridden worthless Hollywood movie they are going to go see this weekend. I thought everyone knew the Criminals In Action put up the money to get suckbook started. Remember when their stocks were tanking after the initial public offering? Yea Soros and others bailed it out because the globalist have to have their data mining honeypot.

    • Indeed. The whole FB IPO thing stank to high heaven from the get-go. Anyone with an ounce of “common” sense would’ve seen through the bullshit, shut their account down, and walked away right then and there.

    • “A bunch of malignant narcissists who think the world cares about what they ate for dinner last night and what shit ridden worthless Hollywood movie they are going to go see this weekend.”

      Right on, Panzerfaust – perfectly put.

  9. I guess the cops will eventually be able to apply your brakes for you remotely. All for the greater good of course.

  10. With regards to the comment that people will become less safe as they are required to be less safe, that is something I call the “illusion of safety”. Putting people in an air conditioned bubble that almost drives itself while ensuring maximum comfort cons people into feeling like they arent hurdling down the road in multiple tons of steel at incredibly risky speeds. These things certainly do increase safety, but sometimes the feeling is disproportionately increased compared to reality.

    We have similar problems at the industrial plant I work at, too many safety mechanisms lead to lazy operators.

    We have found a good way to avoid that is to have the safety mechanisms in place but remove the illusion by making tasks appear as dangerous as they ever were. How to accomplish that in cars? I don’t have the answer, though I can say driving around a vintage jeep with no seatbelts and no windshield in traffic is what did it for me.

    • Mandatory motorcycle riding.
      And no allowance for safety gear beyond a helmet and decent boots.

      Make the driver’s ed courses cover physical runs in vehicles, Honda CBR250 (Nighthawk 250 cc’s) and probably something like an old Packard, Olds, or something – huge, non-luxury, heavy steel. And don’t end the simulator in case of accident. Student must stay inside until they are cut out of the “car”. In case of fatality, they stay in for an hour with constant strobe flashes and low-level elctro-shock “Aversion therapy.”

      • jean, gloves, definitely gloves. After pulling out a grasshoppers leg from my hand I got to thinking about the alternative, not having to do that. So I’m ruminating(I try not to in public)and remember my pair of Trucker’s Specials I use simply to drive in because they fit so well and when they’re broken in, will hold a wheel, a grip, whatever almost by themselves. You can relax your hand and let the glove hold the throttle. And wiping out in my driveway, a big plus there.

        • Agreed to, though unhappily. I’d prefer to limit the safety equipment to minimal stuff, though I’m not averse to the students getting full-face helmets. Road rash on the face seems a big risk to me, for minimal payoff. The rest? Well, breaks of the game – torn knee ligaments, crushed hands, broken ankles, picking bugs out of your flesh… All good, object lessons. Remember, some of us exist only to serve as a warning to others. 😉
          (Yes, I resemble that remark.)

          • jean, I resemble it too. A friend, a really great bike rider, and I were riding one summer night and made the round inside the square around the courthouse. When we left, I kind got on mine a bit(we were both riding modified Suk 1000 GS’s)but I went across an area with no gravel while he went through what appeared to be pavement but actually was so smooth with about an inch of gravel he didn’t notice it. When it started coming out from under him he just reacted as a good rider would, steered into it and held the throttle so he could straighten up but he didn’t realize that sideways power tire was about to contact clean pavement and when it did, he slammed down sideways really hard, took a huge amount of hide off his face as well as arms and hand and leg. We got everything together and went to the house where he badly needed first aid. Those scars showed for years on his face. He was used to riding motocross so what he didn’t was instinctive. No accounting for that extreme change of traction though.

  11. From the “Book of Knowledge” (wikipedia):

    “The Eloi are technically adept but don’t understand the technology; they regress and unlearn millennia of culture, thought and reason, until they are satisfied with the pleasure of merely existing.”

    That’s an amazing description of most people these days. I need to start using Eloi in everyday conversation.

    • “The Eloi are technically adept but don’t understand the technology”

      Sounds like a bunch of engineering managers. Cops I believe are of the same mind set. Those that can’t do usually “manage” which really means uses and f you over. They also have kids and lots of them. Of course there are exceptions in that a good engineer can also manage. But a bad manager being Eloi is always a bad engineer and that is the majority of engineering managers in corporate america.

      I just laugh my ass off everytime I get richer being in business for myself. All the worthless managers who thought I couldn’t do it without them. ha ha ha…Ha Ha Ha…HA HA HA (last laugh)!

      And the best part is that I’m guaranteed my own job security being my own boss. I see all the little Eloi playing with their game boxes, pushing their greasy little pudgy fingers on that touch pad apple device, blabbering on their cell phones while their best friend is standing next to them. I mean I thank you Eloi and children of Eloi…you are making me rich! RICH…richey RICH…HA HA HA HA!

      • Special thanks to Lew Rockwell writers as they started me down the path of the awakening many many years ago. I decided it made no sense for an engineer to not be an entrepeneur either. The message is a good message. If you can serve your fellow man better directly by cutting out the useless Eloi in the middle then its the right thing to do. To my fellow engineer…to my fellow chained comrade…break those chains and go rogue and you’ll be lauging just like me at all the Eloi. God Bless the Eloi every single one of them.

      • When I meant going rogue I mean the 3rd adjective according to the dictionary farlex:

        “3. Operating outside normal or desirable controls: “How could a single rogue trader bring down an otherwise profitable and well-regarded institution?” (Saul Hansell).”

        And not the 1st and second uses of the adjective:

        1. Vicious and solitary. Used of an animal, especially an elephant.
        2. Large, destructive, and anomalous or unpredictable: a rogue wave; a rogue tornado.

        • IIRC, there was the “Attack of the Killer Bs” which brought down the Bank of England….
          And in fact, MOST rogues end up wealthy, regardless of the meaning attached. 😉
          I like #2 and #3 until TSHTF…

          Then I’ll take #1 and polish it up a bit. 😀

  12. CloverActually cars should be regulated far more than guns as they cause way more deaths per years than guns. There’s no equivalent to the 2A protecting car ownership. High-powered cars can stay on the racetracks. Firing a gun randomly into the air is incredibly much more safer than driving the free-for-all way Libertarians demand. Once “harm” in Libertarian term is not much really.

    • Oh, you must be the pinhead who drives 55 in the left lane and wonders why everyone is flipping you off, flashing their lights, and blowing their horn?

    • Libertarians, and really anyone who understands liberty, accept personal responsibility for their actions. This extends to being competent in the activities one chooses to engage in such as driving, or even, shudder, handling firearms (and certainly not randomly firing bullets into the air.) That you perceive as wrong those who neither need nor desire onerous, intrusive, even dangerous regulations/equipment tells us more about your mindset than how “wrong” we the responsible are. And, since you aren’t a history major, the Constitution enumerated specificlly what government is allowed to do to we the people. Nowhere is it written that government can decide that you cannot freely travel, by any means, as long as it doesn’t harm others.

    • You can kill plenty of people with a 1500 pound car with 55hp, you dont need a nascar. But to the real argument….

      You seem to presume that lack of government regulation means lack of any regulation, which to me indicates that you don’t totally understand how society and customs function. Societal standards and customs place standards of conduct on individuals, and enforce them. Are some laws a result of these customs? Yes. Do they need to be laws as such? No. If every cop disappeared tomorrow people would still drive on the right side of the road.

      A better example of how societal standards of conduct do not need government enforcement is one that is in a more free domain with more competition though. Ebay, a tremendously successful online garage sale of sorts, has no government protection of buyers or sellers or enforcement of their contracts. The entire thing runs on reputation created by ratings. If someone screws you in a deal, you can hurt their ability to do business with others in the future. And the other way, you are responsible to review their reputation and decide if what you are buying is worth the risk of the transaction. I will quote one dealer comment I saw on an auction “Downvotes are the equivalent of nuclear warfare, if you have any problems with our deal please TALK to me first so that we can sort it out!”

      The moral of the story is most people are reasonable not because of the threat of government, but because humans are by nature. A good chunk of those who arent act so because of fear of societal blowback. The remaining few who do not fear societal blowback and are not reasonable are the same people who don’t obey government laws either.

      • Humans?
        Sir, WHAT the **** have you been SMOKING?! 😉

        Seriously, I don’t find humans to be “reasonable.” Self-preserving, sure – but nto truly reasonable. Clover and Gil (and I) prove that every day. We might differ on WHAT we’re unreasonable about, but we are not really reasonable.
        Clover and Gil want everyone to shut up and do it their way; I want the world to be inhabited by a few billion fewer people, keeping mostly the high-IQ types and free-thinkers. I confess freely – I’m NOT reasonable. 😉

    • “Mythbusters” did a segment on this. If you fire a round STRAIGHT UP into the air, it will reach its zenith and then tumble on its way down, be subject to atmospheric effects and be somewhat harmless. However, if you fire it at an ANGLE, the bullet is likely to continue on its merry way (like an arrow) and potentially be quite deadly.

      • CloverLibertarians like to gloat, correctly, that all deaths by guns are a drop in the bucket in overall deaths but guns just happen to get a bad rap. Whereas death by motor vehicles is quite common. Hence supposing what people may do with guns in immaterial. If people here think roads should be treated like racetracks with people free to do any speed and weave in and out of traffic for kicks then free-for-all gun antics ought to have higher priority.

        • Gillyweed, you think that it’s the tools we use that require regulation, when it’s the idiots that misuse them that actually do the damage. Hell – pedestrians cause plenty of crashes by mind-in-neutral jaywalking.

          In all my nearly 30 years on motorcycles, I’ve generally been over the speed limit as often as I can, because it’s pretty damn hard hitting a small fast moving target. I have to do the thinking for every idiot around me and get out of their way. It’s the only reason I’m still alive.

          Even in crawl speed traffic I’ve nearly been sideswiped several times because clover couldn’t care to look if the lane was clear. How is that the car’s fault?

          Regulating cars like a zealot does nothing for safety, because idiots are still idiots and will continue to do stupid shit. Educating them better is the key to improved safety. That’s why defensive driving courses exist, but I doubt you even thought of that.

          Very few crashes actually occur on autobahns because as everyone is driving faster, they’re concentrating more. If we do it your way and slow everyone down to a crawl, people perceive they have more time to eat, drink, text, read etc. behind the wheel. And that’s precisely what’s happening and causes crashes.

          Nobody falls asleep on an autobahn. That’s just a fact. But every holiday season the idiots like you come out, drive well under the limit, blindly accepting the gubberment lie that your speedo will warn you of impending doom and either miss entirely what’s happening in front of you because your eyes are glued to the damn dashboard, or you fall asleep from sheer boredom due to lack of pace and go wheels up into a ditch.

          Then the cops will come out on the news and duly lie as they’re paid to do, blaming YOU for speeding. That then becomes a basis for more revenue cameras, lower limits, more idiots and more crashes. You have nobody to blame but yourself.

          • Thanks Dom. One thing I should add is the fact that gubberment doesn’t want safe drivers, because there’s no money in that. They want more regulations that the people can be fined (unlawfully fleeced) over.

            Australia’s speed, red light and lasers currently haul in $1bn!! They’re never gonna give that up and it’ll be way more in the USSA.

            But they don’t get squat from me. Over the last 10 years I’ve been fined plenty, but never paid a single one since my study into the laws surrounding such corruption and discovering how unlawful all these fines actually are. The town I used to live in had parking orificers that all knew me too well because their parking fine cases were all thrown out of court. Since then they all gave me a wide berth. One of them even waved every time he saw me. Funny stuff.

            Between jobs I’d often go down to the local courts and watch the shit they try and pull. I came across many that wanted to fight their fines but didn’t know how and were too scared of the system. Once I emailed them all the info, several eventually wrote back saying they’d won. It gives you an addictive warm, fuzzy feeling 😉

          • Wha??? Don’t pay your fines? Do tell how you pull it off.

            There is absolutely no money in educating drivers, so true!

            I believe roads and lights are engineered to increase confusion, accidents, and generate tickets/revenues/fines.

          • I want to see someone use the law to win without a lawyer in cook county Illinois or any of the surrounding counties. The judges in traffic court and the employees in administrative court simply don’t allow written law in their court rooms. The cost to appeal btw is higher than the fine.

          • Simply put Dom, the Australian Constitution has a part called the Imperial Acts Application Act, where S.8(12) states: “That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction, are illegal and void”.

            That makes the fine unlawful, and a federal offence if not issued by a judge. Secondly, the “issuing authority” if it’s not paid is called the Infringements Court. They are also unlawful and unconstitutional because it’s a computer court – nobody can front it to argue their case, but this “court” fully accepts evidence from police without being able to consider counter-evidence. This assumes you automatically guilty without trial and is against the basic human right to be presumed innocent and therefore a federal offence.

            Also, as I usually put in my arguments to any court: “There is no valid law or act in existence that binds a flesh and blood human being to a statute that does not wish to be so bound”.

            S.76 of our Constitution allows Parliament to make laws UNDER it, meaning statutes are inferior, but nowhere in all of our Constitution does it state that such statutes are to be obeyed.

            I know the system and many judges are corrupt and addicted to fine revenue, but in trying to rule against those lawful arguments and international human rights they are fully aware they would be in full violation of their oath, something they don’t want a record over.

            But they also don’t want to make precedents of that nature, so I slip in a lot of points that create a large amount of doubt, of which “reasonable doubt” is all you need to win. If it’s not going my way, I send in the big guns mentioned above. They’re then forced to find me an “out” over a smaller “doubt”.

            Camera fines are easily defeated. You have the right to face your accuser. The camera is the informant, which can’t front the court for cross-examination. Making the whole “trial” an unfair farce. The case must be dismissed.

          • The right to face your accuser which is a speed camera? You got that from the “Big Bang Theory”, didn’t you? One of Sheldon Cooper’s supposed three rock solid arguments to avoid a traffic fine.Clover

            • Clover/Troll:

              The right to face one’s accuser in court is an ancient principle. It does not derive from a TeeVee show. But it’s peripheral, in this case, to the underlying question of the ethical validity of punishing people for “offenses” against statutes as opposed to holding them accountable for harm done to persons or property. It’s a distinction you and your fellow Clovers can’t appreciate, I realize.

          • No Gil, I haven’t seen that episode. It’s just a fact of law. Pray tell, what were Sheldon’s other two arguments?

          • I prefer to think of it as the accused can challenge the accusations than the accuser per se. The 6th Amendment is more about having one’s day in court to defend oneself. If there a right to directly face the accuser than there could be no written statement, video testimony (esp. for minors) or anonymous witnesses or tip offs.Clover

            • Clover,

              It used to be a tenet of Western rule of law that the burden of proof rested with the accuser. It was not the burden of the accused to disprove allegations made against him. You – and your fellow Clovers – have reversed this, out of deference to the authority you venerate – in order to make it easier to punish people and to make it harder for people accused of things to escape punishment.

              It’s another example of your ethical-intellectual kinship to the totalitarians of the past. And your desire – whether you realize it or not – to see them revivified in the present.

          • Gil, allegations are nothing until backed up with evidence. The accused must have the presumption of innocence and is not required to prove his innocence. The accuser must prove his guilt with evidence. It’s then that the accused need only challenge the evidence presented against him.

          • Yes, the Western law courts operate “when in doubt assume they’re not guilty”. While it’s true the prosecutor has to prove the accused is guilty whereas the defense lawyer doesn’t have to prove their client is innocent beyond reasonable doubt, it’s clear Libertarians want to muddy the waters to the point that no one could be found guilty. It’s interesting to suppose that law blog supposed Sheldon’s three argument weren’t so bad if presented properly by an actual lawyer but he muffed it up by pretending to be an expert in law.
            Nonetheless, the Sheldon counter-argument is sound: he ran a red light and it wasn’t a life or death situation. His accuser was the local government of Pasadena, his accuser is effectively the judge and the red light camera photograph is the evidence.

            • No, Clover –

              The underlying issue is simply: Should people be punished when they haven’t caused harm?

              It’s simple, clear cut.

              Your position, on the other hand, is one of conjecture and assumption. “Someone” (not any particular person) might cause harm by doing “x.” Therefore, anyone who does “x” (e.g., drive faster than a certain speed) may be punished under the law.

          • Gil, normally red light cams take 2 photos. If the first photo shows you entering on green or yellow, the fact is you didn’t run the red and are innocent. The fact that wasn’t mentioned at all in the scene renders the whole argument rather pointless.

            “If there a right to directly face the accuser than there could be no written statement, video testimony (esp. for minors) or anonymous witnesses or tip offs.”

            That doesn’t make much sense. Even when a statement or affidavit has been written, the writer must appear in court as well. There are no such things in court as anonymous witnesses or tip-offs. That becomes hearsay and can’t be used in argument.

            Whatever you said beyond that doesn’t make enough sense to warrant a useful reply.

          • Revolution, If you look at the Confrontation Clause it’s not a hardcore right to “face your accuser and badger them any way you like”. In the Sheldon he has to show the red-light photo is false, failing that he has to show it was an emergency situation justifying the running of the red light or failing that Penny threatened harm if he didn’t do it.Clover

            • Clover,

              The only relevant issue here is: Did the action result in harm to someone’s person or property? Put another way, is there a victim?

              If there is no victim, how can anyone claim harm was done? And if no harm was done, where is the “crime”?

              Do you like punishing people who’ve committed no crime?

              Yes, of course, you do. Because, to you, violating “the law” – an arbitrary edict set forth in a book at the behest of politicians – is a crime. You regard the state as the victim – and sympathize with it.

              Not with your innocent fellow man.

          • Gil:

            “If you look at the Confrontation Clause it’s not a hardcore right to “face your accuser and badger them any way you like”

            That’s not what cross-examination is about. If your accuser varies his story then it’s likely the truth isn’t being told. The accuser must be available to be tested, period.

          • A few ‘harms’ that result from trespassing that I can think of:

            Your footsteps kill blades of grass that a cow would otherwise eat, depriving the owner of that use of the grass.

            Your unwelcome presence encroaches upon the privacy of the landowner, that is a harm.

            Your trespass may create a path enticing others to trespass, that is a harm. If enough people do it often enough, in some states, that land can then be taken due to the constant trespass. That’s the way it is in my state.

            There are likely many more examples, those are just a few.

  13. The only problem with making everything idiot proof is that the world seems to keep coming up with a better idiot.

      • That’s the gist of the idea of regulation. The government wants you to allow them to take “care” of you.


        In 5 years you will need to get the government to activate your ignition for you so you can drive “your” car. That way Uncle knows where you are at all times.

        • Just more techno-shackles some bright entrepreneur will come up with a workaround for (the subject of this article is another example). I would imagine that something like this will be “end-runned” around rather quickly.

    • It’s not that they keep coming up with a better idiot, it’s that the better idiot isn’t able to kill himself off anymore. Because of the safety equipment like air bags, he walks away after wrapping his car around that tree instead of being taken to the morgue.

      • There is the fact they are saved and can reproduce that isn’t helping any, but the systems in place are designed to make stupid and dependent people. Essentially those who want to prove eugenics have altered the environment to get the results they need, which in the end proves that it is environment. Randolf Duke won the bet of course. ( )

        It gets worse is that prudent behavior becomes more and more a disadvantage in society. The prudent get punished over and over and over again in favor of the risk takers. Financially especially. I have no problem with risk takers but why do the prudent have to be forced to cover their downside? Is it really a risk when there is this ‘safety net’ for them provided at other people’s expense?

  14. There are times that steering around a problem makes more sense than braking for the problem. Like when a semi-truck is on your ass. Other times it makes more sense to collide with something soft than to brake suddenly and loose control of the car.

    One time I was in the middle lane of the freeway during rush hour in the 1970s. It was getting dark, and visibility was not too good. Suddenly I saw a giant box right in front of me. I could not swerve right or left since the lanes were full. I looked in the rear view mirror. Yes, there was a semi-truck right in back of me. The box said RCA Console Color TV. I realized that the TV in front of me had more “give” than a car, and it made more sense to hit the box than to panic stop in front of the semi-truck. So I hit the box at 60 mph. Lucky for me, the box was empty, and flew over my car. The semi got it next, but hey, I was safe. Worked for me.

    Now if one of the wonderful brake assist units were in the car, the car would have slammed on the brakes to save the empty box. The semi-truck would have rear-ended me. I would have been dead.

    • That was a lucky one and a good point made against brake assist.

      One dark morning going home on the bike, I was in the freeway fast lane doing about 130k’s. In the gloom of my headlights coming up fast was a complete spare wheel off a car, right in the middle of my lane. Thing was damn hard to see being almost the same colour of the tarmac. In the final split second I figured what it was and managed to lay the bike over enough for my wheels to miss it. When I got home, I noticed a 6 inch long black mark where the tyre just kissed the bottom of the fairing.

      That was a close one. The bike woulda catapulted and bent the front end, spilling me and bits of bike all over the freeway. If the bike had some form of that brake assist, as soon as I turned the bars and the brakes come on, it would just throw me off.

      I doubt any of that tech would find its way onto bikes but it has severe nuisance value, all the way to life threatening.

      • Please explain to me how laying over your bike to avoid a tire in the road could leave a black mark (from the tire) anywhere on your bike, since the low side would be away from the object you were trying to avoid.

        • The CBR1000 is a sizeable bike with an all-over fairing. Maybe I could have explained a bit better, but the tyre marked the right-side bottom of the fairing. Try it sometime and you’ll understand. I was just lucky that the footpegs were high enough to clear it too.

  15. Three thoughts:
    1.This made me think of the law of unintended consequences and that “Bring Amberlamps” piece you wrote last week.
    2.The People In Government Security vehicles will be exempt from this mandate.
    3.This will kill the action movie. I just can’t imagine a car chase without the cars banging into each other.

  16. I’m going to avoid the worthless political wailing and moaning. But I foresee a practical problem that will make mass implementation of assisted braking a non starter…..or a catastrophe if they go ahead with it.

    To avoid liability issues, assisted braking systems will have to be programed aggressively…….to slow down early and significantly. This of course, will trigger the same over reaction in the following car. And this will be further amplified with each successive vehicle.

    Consider how the mildest fender bender on a freeway shoulder can create “spectator slowdown,” as rubber necking drivers get off the gas just a little, to check it out. Assisted braking will compound this problem by a conservative factor of ten.

    The result will be colossal, perpetual, terminal gridlock. Our would be overlords may want to get us out of our own cars. But this is not going to work out well for them. The bureaucrat who forces through this regulation will end up getting crucified.

    Even dictators can’t be this stupid, and hope to get away with it.

    • Mike,

      Spot on.

      I recently test drove a car so equipped and the system was very aggressively pre-emptive. To the point of annoyance and absurdity.

      For example:

      Car up ahead is slowing to turn left. You’re behind him – and having a brain (and eyes) – know that he’s not going to stop completely. That by the time you get to where he is, he’ll have already turned off. So, no need to jam on the brakes. But the car thinks otherwise. It doesn’t know – can’t know – that the car isn’t just going to stop in the middle of the road, but rather, is going to slow, then turn off. All it senses is the car slowing. Which triggers it to slow you.

      Super, super annoying.

      • Wonder if the CAFE dictat could be used to demand that this trinket remain optional.

        After all, get the congresscritters up in arms about the mileage reduction the excessive braking will incur and maybe it’s a non-starter.

        Can you imagine the DC highway gridlock this might create? Maybe it should be mandatory only for government employees. After-all, they don’t seem to be competent at anything but spending money and wasting resources. On the other hand, it might reduce the darwin-like culling of government employees on the roads, so that might be a really bad idea.

        Man, think of a cop-car so equipped….. That would be fun to watch since so many cops drive like crazed lunatics.

        • I certainly would be hilarious to watch duh gubbimint trip over and strangle itself with its own conflicting laws and regulations.

      • Very Clever thinking about the bumper slow down theory.

        Also another thought would be that in Driver’s Education class in my teens they taught us that there we actually two possiblities to avoid a collison. One is by slowing down and another by aversion. The idea that you can’t do both simutaneously even though its not quite mutally exclusive. For example, suppose the car in front of you slams on the brakes. A Big Mac truck tails from behind. In risk aversion, you’d use whatever momentum you had left to swerve into an unoccupied lane or road margin, instead of braking and getting squished.

        But of course the idea of removing the thinking for us is all about control. Well and money too as Eric points out. The idea of freedom to choose even in accident avoidance is to be prohibited. The hoi polloi isn’t capable of being responsible, the ruling class has already decided we must all be too stupid and must perish. Big Mac or Big Ag or Big Pharma.

    • As you spend more time in gridlock, you have less time to write to your “elected representative” complaining about more restrictions on your rights. These dictators aren’t stupid, they act this way to remove your time from your life. Once your time is gone, you cannot get it back.

      • Exactly. The more onerous daily life becomes, so TPTB believe, the harder we Mere Mundanes all will have to struggle just to survive, and thus the less time, energy and focus we have for activism. Fortunately (for us MMs), the idiots creating and preserving these conditions don’t appear to be smart enough to grasp the fact that as conditions worsen, unemployment rises, and desperation reaches new heights previously not seen, many of us will have plenty of idle time to devote to NOTHING ELSE BUT activism – of the kind they certainly won’t like.

        • “You see, I’m a guy of simple taste. I enjoy dynamite, and gunpowder, and gasoline! Do you know what all of these things have in common? They’re cheap!” – The Joker


          This will become the refrain of more and more antisocial types, I fear, and they won’t HAVE anywhere to go…. No where to escape to (countryside off-limits), and no where to go (no jobs). That means LOTS of time to get involved in “mischief”.

  17. Building a better idiot.

    I long ago posed the theory that drivers are worse because people form a bell curve around the expectations. Since the expectations keep falling so does driver skill. In essence, what was a poor driver, more than one standard deviation worse than the mean, is now an average driver and so on down the line.

    But the real damage is going to happen as clovers adapt to this. Our Clover, argues that people on the road have to make way for people entering it. But today’s drivers that think in this backwards way still have fear of getting hit. With automatic braking cars they are going to assume that the other person’s car will automatically brake for them. The result is these rude and selfish drivers will pull out in front people more often and with less margin. Above all these people aren’t too bright, they’ll do the same BS to drivers of cars without the system.

    I remember in the 1990s as ABS and such was becoming commonplace. I drove Mavericks with 4wheel manual drum brakes for much of the 1990s. People would do all sorts of stupid things in front of me that were non-events in a 90s but a clincher moment in something with the common braking technology of the 1960s.

    They will get really stupid with automatic braking. The stupid, lazy, and selfish will use it to their advantage and to the expense of everyone else.

    • Building a better idiot.

      I long ago posed the theory that drivers are worse because people form a bell curve around the expectations. Since the expectations keep falling so does driver skill. In essence, what was a poor driver, more than one standard deviation worse than the mean, is now an average driver and so on down the line.

      I think you’ve nailed it, Brent. It’s all part of the great “dumbing down” process that is about to reach critical mass.

  18. As noted elsewhere, the Elites (like David Friedman) will have SOMEONE ELSE drive FOR him, most likely. That’s conspicuous consumption, a sign of wealth and power. It’s also an “insurance” (pardon the pun) against actually PAYING for these things.
    Push the cost on down to the consumer. It’s worked so far…. Until there’s one that breaks the camel’s back.
    (When that happens, BTW, there are already systems in place to take over. Public transportation is one, of course – imagine that there aren’t any cars any more, but instead just lots of pbulic transportation – think of all the pollution we’ll save! But think also of ZipCar and now Enterprise’s Rent by the Hour scheme. Still need a Driver’s License – until such time as the cars drive themselves. But ultimately the costs of membership will STILL be too high for anyone but the elite, who can either write it off as a business expense, or force others to pay for it – think Coporate Fleet – and even THEY will be on public transport. But they can’t see that far ahead.)

    I digress slightly now, though.
    _I_ earn 6 figures. WE are living paycheck to paycheck. My biggest “vices” (only vices?) are Starbucks and a gym membership. And we dropped the gym membership because of.. Practical concerns. (long story not worth telling, cost:benefit ration was negative.) So I spend money on overpriced coffee (which I probably need to cut out due to the inflamation coffee is inflicting on me.)
    Where do I make more budgetary cuts? I CAN’T: We have minimum insurance on the car – single – and the bike – single. Food costs a certain amount, and we’re not doing lobster and grass-fed beef every night, make no mistake.

    It’s not the salary per se that’s the problem: it’s the mind set. A venal criminal who’d slit your throat for $20 in today’s money, with a few mroe IQ points, gets elected, and has SOMEONE ELSE hold you at gunpoint to pay his (inflated) salary, and it’s ALL legal. Anyone else remember Eddie Murphy’s “The Distinguished Gentleman?”
    And I don’t make as much as a Senator, even, yet I pay more in taxes, in both real dollars, and percentage, than they do – AND, I don’t get personal security details, nor do I get perpetual health care at someone else’s expense.

    HOW are these people any different from that Muslim who shot up the Army base, Major Nidel Hassan or whatever?
    And, as others have asked – Why is he still alive?


    The colonists rebelled for FAR less from a far more distant government, in far MORE perilous times.
    Goddamn, we’re pussies.

    • So half your income is taxes, that’s a given. So for the other half is it the college cartel or the medical cartel? Housing Bubble?

      • Medical and housing.
        Never spent so much time in hospitals in my LIFE as since I got involved with a certain female.
        {sigh} Nothing like going to the ER at midnight to wait with the woman and her daughter because the daughter’s having issues… And after 6 AM or so, and some pricey tests, it’s determined that the problem is, she is (literally) full of shit… Kaopectate was the cure, IIRC.
        Then there were the occasions where we thought the woman was having a heart attack… She has bad vertigo….
        As for the house – Didn’t buy at the high of the market, but did over-pay. Found out AFTER we bought that several parts had never seen an inspector before… Like the upstairs AC unit. All illegal, not up to code. Had to make repairs. Then the downstairs unit went. We needed to redo floors. Needed to get rid of the wall-to-wall carpeting. Etc, Etc, Etc. It just kept going. Re-wire X, rebuild Y, new doors, new light fixtures… I don’t even remember most of the time spent there. I was commuting up to 3 hours a day, that was on a good day, and away from home from 6 AM until 7 PM. That was JUST work and commuting. By the time dinner was done, it was 9 PM or so, and I crawled into bed.

        The woman is an equalist. (I used to think I was.) She’s also spent a LOT of time being a nasty harpy. It’s easy to spend an extra 2 hours at work when you don’t want to go home… Not that it works out any better, but… I think the worst events were when she threw my sister out of the house, and a few times I was LEGITIMATELY late… One just ebcause of traffic! PA turnpike stops, you don’t bother looking for an alternate route: the shortest alternate is about 3 hours instead of 1.5, for what I was driving – and there is time to GET to the alternate. So, it didn’t go well. Add in that we’d just had a custody battle for her daughter, too, and my assets had already been severely tapped – and I was trying to squeeze in college, too – and dealing with her depression – Well, it got REAL bad, REAL fast. Bought a VRSC-A in 2006, June or so. Bought the house, and laid out $30K for the downpayment, August 2007. Bankruptcy by August 2008. Foreclosure by 2009.

        Also, my car didn’t do us any favors – Subie WRX, I actually forget the year – first year for the WRX in US. Had the mickey-mouse headlights. I think it was 2000. Manual transmission – I learned how to drive stick on that car – and it got costly. Nothing simple, like a turbo. 😉 Brakes *6, I think, rotors & disks; Tires, I forget – two new sets? One cheap, one a little better, as we got out of the hole. Blew the radiator once – it cracked and the fluid boiled off. And then there was the period I had no work, too.
        I was a young man 7 years ago.
        Anyway, to wrap it all up and answer the quick version? 50% taxes; 20% or so medical; 20% or so to visiting and taking care of her daughter; and I don’t know where the other 10% went, but between car parts, food, mortgage, and utility bills, it went REAL fast. Faster than I could earn it.

  19. The roads would be far safer without nanny “school” zone speed limits convincing kids that it’s gonna be the driver at fault regardless their jaywalking – parents too. I’d like to see clovers do what they currently do, such as text, blabber, apply makeup, read the paper and eat from a bowl behind the wheel at 100mph. It won’t be possible. The faster you do something, the more focused you are.

    Society’s rapidly going by the way of “Demolition Man”. Sickening.

    • Yeah… Demolition Man plus, or maybe Cybermen for us Plebes.
      The Elites, of course, will be “free” to do whatever they want. But even our THOUGHTS will be modulated / moderated / modified in real time. How long before the MDs start inserting ID tags into newborns, like they were pet dogs?
      Indoctrination in school and via TV, with coercive “thoughts” inserted directly into the mind….? And “immoral” (by their definition) thoughts will be punished by inserting guilty, shame, or even pain directly into the brain?

      We CANNOT tolerate such evil to LIVE. Demolition Man will seem like a PRADISE if we keep going down THIS road.

    • On that subject, it’s interesting to note that only GUBBIMINT schools are surrounded by these “safety zones.” I can attest from direct experience that any private school actively seeking to have even a watered down version of such a thing set up within a one-block radius of its campus (enforced only during school operating hours, not 24/7/365 like those surrounding the gubbimint kiddie prisons) will have to practically hold a city/county council hostage to make it happen. Obviously the lives of “the children” who aren’t incarcerated by The State are less valuable.

      • Yeah, the Private School ones are less effectively manipulated.

        And some turn out like me.
        I can be led, I’m somewhat Type B… But if you cross the line, it’s a done deal: No trust, no repairing things, I’m out for blood. God himself can’t save you then.

        I have a few people you could ask… One almost got killed.
        From my perspective, he still owes me a bit….

    • Facebook is a waste of my time and yours. We threw it in the Woods.

      The sooner everyone throws that odious data mining operation (which undermines authentic human interaction) in the Woods, the better off the world will be.

      • i wholeheartedly second that, i scrapped my acct 2 years ago, fuck zuckerburg. anyone who still uses that POS gets mocked by me on a regular basis (and that includes the wifey)

        no need to keep up with “friends” from my past that I didn’t care enough to stay in touch with when they weren’t a convenient “poke” away.
        everyone would be better off if it was thrown in the woods and then set on fire with napalm.

      • Never had an account, never will…. That place should be called FedBook.

        Here is an older, but pointed video on Facebook:

        • Hi Ender,

          Also, and more subtly, Facebook, et al, conditions social promiscuity. Being “loose” with your private business/opinions and so on. Acclimating people to having “everything on display” – that is, no privacy.

          • Honestly, I have never understood the infantile impulses in supposedly “adult” human beings that turn them into such exhibitionists. In any medium other than cyberspace, no sane adult would ever even think of exposing so much of their personal life to millions of complete strangers. As someone else who never has had a FB account and never will, I find it amazing that so-called “adults” would even indulge at all in something that is clearly the province of pre-teens without any direction in life or personalities of their own.

            Oh, and for anyone looking for another reason to avoid FB, here’s a new one that is probably the best reason yet.

          • “conditions social promiscuity”

            That was always my take on it and I mean probably in the literary definition as well. Fortunately, I’ve been married quite a long time now and haven’t been in the meat market for some time. As far as how they zuckered everyone to give away their personal details and identity, I’d speculate that it worked on the younger unmarried crowd. I mean I can’t blame anyone who tried it as that was the rage at the time. I did plenty of stupid shit in my younger years so all is forgiven, especially when you learn to not repeat the same mistakes later in life.

            Again I can look past the teens, 20’s, and 30’s and even older ummarried people doing FB but I find it strange that someone who was married and above 40’s would fall for it. But really it doesn’t work like that. I just love looking up all the duds of my HS years and reading their whole life story. Its fun to speculate the hidden story that they think isn’t being conveyed in their messages. The best part is when you know its non reciprocal.

            Sure I’ve done a lot of stupid things that make me blush when I think back, but its not written on unerasable ledgers of facebook. Wasn’t there some new Zucker idea of displaying all your history on FB? I mean that would be very embarassing showing your future wife all the ugly ones you dated before when you were feeling a little desperate. I digress its better to keep all your deeds hidden, be an alias in life. You’ll feel much better when that fad you tried to sell 10 years ago that never caught on isn’t reminded to you by every new aquantance you should cross paths.

            As for me I tried something really foolish once, but felt immediately better when I saw young kids in the 90’s with their ass totally hanging out of their pants. Thank God that he made me smarter with age not to repeat the awkwards of FB.

            Hot Rod

            • Hi HR,

              I have to give Zuckerberg and his handlers/backers credit: They saw – and mercilessly exploited – the low-rent narcissism of the Average American. The same vapid desire to be seen – and heard – not because you’ve achieved something worth calling attention to, but just because you like calling attention to yourself. Look at me! The same vulgar instinct that got white trash (and black trash and all other hues of trash) to display their wares on Geraldo, Maury , Jerry Springer – and so on.

              I bet anyone here over 40 remembers what I remember: That it used to be a hallmark of trash to speak about your private affairs in public – in the presence of total strangers – to preen and strut like a human rooster… and expect others to marvel at your marvelousness (or your awfulness).

          • My mind was rambling on thinking what I said and it came to me that FB isn’t just a way to spy on people. It surely is that! But possibly the whole idea of facebook is to extend your primary education of “popularity” and thus dog collar forever. As I’ve conveyed to many of you in here that one of the audacious things of my public schooling was that once you were “classed into a caste system” say the untouchables the administrators and peers made sure to keep you in your place. Me personally, I found that I was able to break that spell at the junction between junior high and high school where the faces of administrators (teachers) changed dramatically. Here was where I found the recluse to change my whole outward persona and “try again”. Many of us do this throughout our growing lives. We aren’t the same people in the 20’s that we were in the 30’s, nor the same in the 40’s as in the 30’s. Its always nice when going through a metamorphisis to be able to leave behind the past along with the common faces of it, to start again fresh. But FB is basically a collar assigned by the masters to continue the tracking not just of your personal details but also of the past you’d all rather forget. Its a brilliant social control tool to keep you in your place. Fortunately, I always hated it for the identity promiscuity alone but from an elite dog collar I hate it even more now.

            Hot Rod

          • I’ve notice the personal business thing on fb. I have very very little that’s personal. Then it’s something exceedingly trivial that I thought was interesting. The article I wrote here on a trip to the junkyard was expanded from probably one of the most personal things I’ve posted to fb.

            To me, fb is for the same thing this site is, for discussion of dis,dat,and da odder thing.

            however for other people, it gets way too personal.

          • “I have to give Zuckerberg and his handlers/backers credit: They saw – and mercilessly exploited – the low-rent narcissism of the Average American. The same vapid desire to be seen – and heard – not because you’ve achieved something worth calling attention to, but just because you like calling attention to yourself. Look at me! The same vulgar instinct that got white trash (and black trash and all other hues of trash) to display their wares on Geraldo, Maury , Jerry Springer – and so on.”

            You are a man of concise thoughts and words. I couldn’t said it better, nor would I have thought of saying it so myself.

            As far as strutting the stuff, yeah we’ve all been there. I suppose it builds humility to wear the other persons shoe earlier in life. I mean I meet some real social awkwards maybe derelicts all the time. Early this morning to be truthful as a recent neighbor had to whistle and carry on at 4am calling her “lost” dog that obviously wanted to go to the bathroom in privacy. At first I was so outraged I was even tempted to sic the police on her, I said something when she quieted down about an hour later about “wheres the police when you need them?”. Sure she pissed me off waking me up from perfectly good dream of flying around like a bird, floating and free without any tethers. It was so good a dream I almost forgot I lived in a police state and insane asylum.

            But the good news is I didn’t call the police on her because you know what we all go a little crazy once in a while over stupid shit. And life is about trying to be humble through our own wierd experiences and forgiving too.

            Eric I think we have grown smarter in life and that is what I’d hope for all people in this world. You and everyone on here are going to the change the future to something much better because of this compassion. I certainly believe everyone chatting on here is wise in that way and moving onto a path of greatness because of it.

            Hot Rod

        • Piss in the data pool.

          Yes, I pollute the data pool with intentionally bad data.

          Better yet, people make social media accounts for their roll playing characters.

          The data pool is polluted. The more people that do it the better.

        • Ah, now I had fun with facebook. I have everyone convinced that identity thieves will be datamining facebook, so I encouraged everyone I know to lie and enter very inaccurate information. And to create a couple distraction alter-egos too.

          Ended-up being a bit of a game. How to slant a tempting facebook profile so that an identity thief would get caught and destroy any marketing value that facebook might gain. It’s rumored that there is a judge somewhere getting S&M snailmail as a result of that little game. Alas, I haven’t touched facebook since the IPO.

          And now that the NSA has been un-masked as the “identity thieves”, well, it seems it was the correct approach. Wonder if they’re investigating that judge??

      • I got “zuckered” by a friend of mine to join many years back and then deleted everything and closed the account. I don’t think you can even do that without jumping through a million hoops today. That’s why I call it FaceCrook.


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