Well, I Told You So… .

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Remember a few weeks back when I wrote about the ’14 Lincoln MKZ – and the creepy real-time updating “Speed Limit Currently Is” warning icon displayed in the gauge cluster? The way it knew whether you were “speeding”? The way the car slowed down without any input from you when it felt the need? (Read here for more about that.) Big Brother car lead picture

Now comes confirmation – via Europe – where it’s all ultimately headed. You’re not gonna like it. But don’t say I didn’t warn you:

The European Commission’s Mobility and Transport Department – which wields regulatory power over most of Western Europe’s roads – has put forth a proposal under the typically banal-bureaucratic-sounding rubric, Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA). It would use the technology I referenced in the MKZ write-up – which endows a car with the power to know the speed limit on any given road, updated continuously in real time via in car-cameras/ GPS – in conjunction with automated braking – to electronically prevent the car from ever being driven faster than the posted speed limit.

News story here.Big Brother car

The hard (and soft) ware would be made mandatory – and not only for new cars. Older cars that didn’t come with the technology from the factory would be required to submit to a retrofitting – at the expense of the owner, of course.

But the most ominous angle is the one not mentioned in any news story. It is, simply, that all cars more than a few years old would be banned from the road if this measure becomes law. Reason? They can’t be retrofitted. At least, not within economic reason.

For instance, if a vehicle does not have ABS – four-wheel ABS (many trucks, even fairly recent models, only have rear-wheel ABS) – it can’t be made to brake automatically, via computer control. The only way to “fix” that would be to gut and replace the factory-installed non-ABS brake system with an ABS system – and now we’re talking money. An ABS pump, wheel speed sensors at each wheel, specialized master cylinder and brake distribution box – plus all the necessary software to make it work – tied into a computer capable of governing the works (the factory unit may not be, in which case, a new, ABS-friendly computer would also be required).2013 MKZ warning light

You’d need to address throttle inputs – and that entails drive-by-wire, which most cars more than a few years old do not have. Ditto the GPS unit – necessary for the “real time” updating of speed limit data as you drive.

Holy mother! There is some money to be made.

And control to be had.

But here’s where it gets really clever: If a given vehicle does not have a computer at all, forget it. Such cars also can’t be controlled – at least, not without a wholesale re-engineering of their entire drivetrains at prohibitive cost. This means virtually all cars made before the early 1980s  – and almost all motorcycles, for you bikers, made before the early 2000s – would be rendered illegal to operate.Dennis Vafier You might say: So what? That’s The EU, not the US. To which I’d reply: If only. What’s done in Europe first – everything from the Prussian government school model to the UK’s cameras everywhere – seems to be imitated here within a few years.

I have been ranting about this eventuality like a kind of automotive Savanarola for years now. Perhaps it is because, as an automotive journalist, I have become pretty good at noticing automotive trends before they become obvious to people outside the industry. The way the pieces are going to fit into the puzzle. One such piece of the puzzle is the fact that the car companies have gone completely corporate. They no longer cross swords with government. They might as well be an agency of the government. They have learned it is easier – and much more profitable – to anticipate what government will eventually mandate.

And more, to push themselves for it being made mandatory.black box picture

That way, instead of having to sweat, say, a competitor who does not force-feed its customers black box data recorders, they all get together and egg on the passage of a law requiring them to force-feed customers black box data recorders. GM tried to do do this with Daytime Running Lamps, too. And it is exactly how we’ll be force-fed things like mandatory in-car GPS, cameras that can “see” speed limit signs – and automatic throttle control/braking to force us to obey them.

How could anyone object? After all, it is accepted conventional wisdom that “speed” kills. Why, therefore, should anyone be allowed to speed? (Cops and Dear Leaders excepted, of course.)control freak picture

The only way to counteract any of this is to challenge the basis of all of it. Not merely the idiocy that “speed” kills. That’s just Romper Room twaddle and everyone – Clovers excepted – knows it already. The more profound avenue of attack is to challenge the right of our would-be (and, increasingly, actual) controllers to control us in any way whatsoever, absent actual harm done to others – including most of all for our “safety” – which is none of their got-damned business.

When enough of us awaken to this – and get mad enough to insist that our right to be left in peace absent actual harm done to others be respected, that no other individual (or group of individuals) has any right to meddle in our affairs in any way whatsoever unless someone else has been harmed – then the problem will take care of itself.

Our task is to incite rage against any person – inside government or inside a corporation  – who thinks he’s got the right to control/restrain/threaten his fellow man for any reason that’s not self-defense.

For his “safety” least of all.

Throw it in the Woods?

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Author of "Automotive Atrocities" and "Road Hogs" (MBI). Currently living amongst the Edentulites in rural SW Virginia.

101 COMMENTS

  1. It is so bad that I can’t even see how they could convince themselves that this is a good idea. If they really were out to “save lives because speed kills “as they claim, they would have spent all this money on technology installing WiFi controlled governors on your car to govern its speed. Because they are spending money to develop another technology to get more “gotcha” fees, it’s clear that they are more interested in the money and even they know it has nothing to do with saving lives.

  2. If you haven’t kept up with the viral video latest. The NYPD used traffic cams and info the boneheaded videographer gave out to find out who Afroduck was and impound his Z4. So the future is here sort of.

    Fastest Lap Around Manhattan 2013

  3. I doubt any of this will come to pass.

    While the world may not be running out of oil, it is running out of cheap oil. Petroleum can be expected to increase significantly, and possibly horrifically, in coming years. The cost of driving will increase accordingly. If this expensive technology is forced on us, a lot of the public will no longer be able to afford a car.

    Wait till you see the anger of Americans directed toward Congress when that happens.

  4. I expect if this ever comes to pass there will be devices to over-ride or disable it. But I doubt it ever will in the US because of all the little towns dependent on their speed traps. The cops would have to find other law enforcement activites that might bring them into contact with real criminals and they don’t want that!

  5. “When enough of us awaken to this – and get mad enough to insist that our right to be left in peace absent actual harm done to others be respected, that no other individual (or group of individuals) has any right to meddle in our affairs in any way whatsoever unless someone else has been harmed – then the problem will take care of itself.”

    Nope. The fools think we are cattle. They believe that dominance implies superiority – and so they pursue it ruthlessly.

    “Insisting on the right to be left in peace” is – to them – an affront to their humanity, and their God-given right to rule. They believe they are human. Which is to say, “made in the image of the divine”. However, they believe that the rest of us are not. And they feel contempt for our every action.

    In their minds the proof of their superiority is in their ability to wipe their feet on our faces. Truly.

    The more stridently you assert the right to be left alone, the more ruthlessly they will assert their ownership of you, right to the gas chamber – If they can.

    It is a psychology certainly, and a psychosis, probably. The place to resist the ‘conrollers’ is while they are still learning their trade – in their mother’s arms. NO CODDLING.

    Failure to do so leads to where we now stand – on the cusp of a “Brave New World” a.k.a. Armageddon.

    • I agree, really – and I’m a vicious enough person to take it a step further.
      Burn the parents to death, too, to ensure the defective DNA is not passed on.

      I’m getting pissed off: I’m getting ready to leave my current place of work because they are trying to lock out the people who NEED administrative access on the machines – the TOOL mandates it, let alone anything else.
      But I’ll bet they don’t block C-levels, or even VPs, who want to install games and look at pron…. (I’m two levels down from the Cs, and been real firendly with IT people, since I AM one.)
      So, I’m getting my Irish up, because the BOSS is FULLY ON-BOARD with this restriction of our ability to do our job. I’ve been trying to improve things for ALMOST TWO YEARS – and _I_ can’t do it, HE is the Employee – HE has the autority, HE is supposed to taking care of things – but our intern still doesn’t have access to the defect system, and our lab, and our machines….

      Yeah – locking us down so much we can’t research tools, or download tools, or install tools – THAT’S the ticket to making us MORE PRODUCTIVE.

      Authoritarianism, large or small, is a curse on humanity. (Worse, he won’t let me go talk to the sock-puppets pushing this. We handle the monies of the NWO, I’m not joking – Wall Street’s #2 or so. WTF? I don’t have access to anything NOW, and they want to “protect their data” from me… We don’t even have access to the TEST data, which isn’t supposed to be real anyway. We get lousy results because we don’t have the dedicated environment we’re supposed to have, and it’s OUR fault… ♥♦♣♠♫○◘◙♂♀♪♫☼►§▬↨↑↓→←∟↔▲‼▼ !”#

      Anyway – I need to get to work… I don’t have the words of the characters to express my frustration – the last test we did, we couldn’t be satisfied with our monitoring tool, so we WROTE ONE. Let’s do the math: 6 people * 8 hours a day * 6 weeks = shitload of money. (And some burnout.)
      Now the bovine excrement is hitting the rotating oscillating device because OTHER projects didn’t get done in a “timely” fashion.
      BTW – the 8 hours is what we get PAID for, NOT WHAT WE WORKED. 10-12 hours a day for three of us, probably 10-12 of another 2. (Intern couldn’t work overtime, really.)

      We need to wake these people up. We can assist that with gravity – they should be awake after the first 5 stories fly by, and have a heart attack about the 10th floor that goes by… And the building is 40 stories tall, I think.
      And I only have to break ONE window….

      Again, the NAP: When does their infringement on my life qualify as aggression against me (and countless others)?
      NOT willing to just let it go. There’s no way back into the Matrix. And that suits me fine.

      • I feel your pain. After doing some contract work for a major auto/ truck accessory manufacturer they offered me the big enchilada IT office position. Took me about 30 seconds to turn it down because I could see my life would be daily rounds of Hobson’s choices and massive amounts of Prilosec.

  6. We’ll certainly hear that driving is a privilege, not a right.

    Automatic speed controls, aside from the potentially prohibitive costs they place on the less affluent, aren’t terribly burdensome in areas where, because of the volume of traffic, it can be difficult to exceed the posted speed limits. More to the point will be the bio-sensors that may have the capacity to disable the vehicle in view of the perceived condition of the driver or even the passengers.

    The meme, at that time, won’t be “speed kills” but “speeding drivers” or “impaired drivers kill.” In New Hampshire, of all places, the Live Free Or Die (sic!) state, your refusal to take a breathylizer test when stopped adds a mandatory six months to whatever the sentence may be if and when you’re convicted of a DUI by other means such as the testimony of the arresting officer.

    Even in the supposedly Free State of New Hampshire they’ve thrown the Fifth Amendment in the woods.

    • driving as a privilege is just yet another government con that was worked progressively over decades. To put itself in the position of the grantor and thus tie anything it wants to the privilege. This has been shown by the states that will revoke a DL for non driving related issues.

  7. Eric, you give these @$$hats way too much credit. You cede to their wishes too easily. There are about five ways to beat this that come to mind without me really even trying. You remind me a bit of Sharpton, fomenting false range to keep the readers coming back. Yawn. I intend to beat these clowns. I’m not turning over my life, and I’m certainly not going to sit around and whine about it. All that testosterone and nothing to use it on. So sad. Viva Libertad.

    • Hi Carl,

      My rage, I assure you, is not false!

      And: I don’t accede to their wishes (their demands, actually). I reject them in principle – and practice, when possible.

      The problem is that in many cases, one cannot evade them. TSA Gate Rape/Submission Training, for instance. Nor buying air bags – if you wish to own a car newer than circa mid-1990s.

      I write about all these outrages in a way that is contrived to anger people; that’s precisely the point. To get people mad. About being lorded over, controlled and directed.

      My wish is that it will eventually achieve a sufficient critical mass – and become as unacceptable to advocate running other people’s lives/making decisions for them (against their will) as it currently is to squat and take a crap on the floor at Starbucks.

  8. You might look up the definition of a driver. It means someone engaged in commerce and is the justification for their regulating the roads and us. When you show your driver license and registration, you’ve volunteered that you are a person they have jurisdiction over you and that you’ve volunteered and agreed to all their rules and regulations.
    Under common law, when we aren’t engaged in commercial activity, we are travelers and can only be stopped when some harm has been created. Otherwise, they have no legal authority to stop us or ticket us for any of these infractions.

    • Unfortunately Vinnie, it’s difficult for a non-initiate to look such a simple thing up. All kinds of legitimate dissenters have had their property seized and their websites shut down. Unless you can demonstrate an instance where making such a distinction is actually working, you may have difficulty finding supporters. I’m sure you’re already aware of this.

      The first step might be to provide the truth where currently there is only lies and misinformation. The allegedly free people of America are busy, and have been know to accept misinformation rather easily without exercising any independent judgement.

      This Lie To Me Seems The Biggest:
      Any person who claims there is a distinction between a driver and traveler is to be dismissed out of hand. Saying you are “traveling in a private capacity” is invalid and need not be refuted. One need only say you are a part of a secretive and dangerous subculture which believes American laws don’t apply to them, and let it go at that.

      This is not to be the case at all, rather you advocate a dissenting theory and opinion of law. Certainly this is something any free man can do. Unsurprisingly your dissent is ignored by the current apes in power. They respect little else but deadly violence, brute force, and naked authority.

      I applaud all Traditionalist & Christian Patriots, if you can recommend an area where you have gained a foothold and hold some sway, I would be glad to visit and might consider moving there myself.

      Time Warner Media Cartel – $68B in assets (TruTV channel) spreading lies and disinformation about sovereign citizens
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRnkCDGtVV4

      Legal Definition of Agent-Driver – 20 CFR 404.1008
      http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/20/404.1008

      Sovereign Citizens
      http://untrain.wordpress.com/ideas-untelevised/bloggers-findings-→/truth-movements-→/sovereign-citizens/

      Noted Anti-Federalists
      Patrick Henry
      Samuel Adams
      George Mason
      James Monroe

    • Hi Vinnie,

      This pops up regularly – and while I agree in principle, the everyday reality is you’d be arrested and caged for “driving without a license.” Perhaps – perhaps! – you’d eventually get a judge to toss the charges. Meanwhile, you’d have been arrested and caged, your vehicle seized.

      And then it will happen again.

      Now, as a practical alternative, one could probably get away with driving (common usage, operating your personal vehicle) without a license if your car has all the necessary “paperwork” – e.g., the license plates, the stickers – so as to minimize your chances of being stopped in the first place. Naturally, you’d also have to be very careful about obeying all traffic laws – though of course that’s not going to give you immunity from being stopped/hassled, either.

      Ultimately, the only real solution is changing enough people’s minds about this odious business of needing (legally speaking) permission from the government – that is, from other people who wield legalized violence – to drive one’s car.

  9. Just as an historical note, this speed-limiting idea was trial-ballooned about a decade back. I’m not going to go and dig up the references, but FWIW, what’s the factory top-speed of just about any sportbike these days? Almost 200mph? Not quite? More like 186mph?

    Remember the Worldwide Clover Panic in the early 2000s when Suzuki released the GSX-1300R Hayabusa–this was the heyday of stunt riding on interstates and some truly awesome videos of insane speeds on the Paris ring roads. The concern was raised in many countries that this motorcycle and many like it were an actual threat to, well, everything! It wasn’t but a year or two later that the EU decreed that no vehicle capable of speed greater than 300kph could be imported. The Japanese companies quietly throttled their new computer controlled EFI machines (Harley & Buell didn’t need to worry about this at all!), and exported nothing faster than Europe’s limit. In real measurements, by the way, 300kph = 186mph.

    Anyway, to keep a long story short, the point is that arbitrary speed limiting has already been done. They always start with the groups outside 3 SD, because the folks in closer to the middle of the bell curve don’t really see it as affecting themselves. Call it the “Median Clover Theorem”:

    “*Those* people need to be reined in! No one needs a _blank_ that can go/hold/print/whatever that fast/many/whatever!”

    So the tech reported on by Mr. Peters, combined with the precedent of an arbitrary limit imposed and easily swallowed by Median Clover (because it doesn’t affect her, and it may save her foam helmeted little spawn!) make it pretty much a done deal.

    At the risk of belaboring a point, expect the language to be vaguely familiar. Not just the “Save the childreeeeeeeeeeen!” crap, but things like:

    – Common sense speed laws
    – Extreme speed capability (for the older, uncontrolled vehicles)
    – Dangerous in “civilian” hands (not going to start on that one!)

    and many other perversions of logical rhetoric.

    :rantoff
    Sorry, ladies & gents. Got a bit carried away.

    • That’s a good point, Brian. The driver has to be able to drive the car without interference from automated systems built into the car or a real tragedy can happen.

  10. On the optimistic side maybe this means there can be individual speed limits for each vehicle and driver. If you have a properly designed and maintained car and have special training your speed limit could be 150 mph. Somebody else would not be allowed on the highway with their rust bucket and balding tires. This would boost sports car sales as they could use speed as a selling point. So maybe the future isn’t so bad.

    • Mang, George. From this angle, that looks like a really,… really bad idea. Caste systems are Not a good thing, imho. Nor are any other privileged classes not built on the idea of private property, i.e. special boarding passes on airplanes to bypass TSA gate rapes.

      … And what have you got against rust buckets and balding tires? On dry pavement, they’re just as good as any other.

      You guys are making it really hard for me to be Read Only.

    • Leaving aside the Authoritarian Issue – the fact that they never cede control over us but only demand more and more – there is the poisonous egalitarianism that suffuses everything. Traffic laws are already dumbed-down to chickenhead special (apologies to PDK) levels; there is no way the maggotry of this country would ever tolerate allowing some people to drive faster than others. Instead, everyone will be compelled to drive the same – slow – speed.

      That is, if they’re allowed to drive at all.

      • They let some people fly airplanes. There are also different licenses for different pilots and classes of aircraft. On the road there are motorcycle, car, and various commercial licenses. So it is not that unthinkable that you could have various speed classes. Note I am not advocating anything, I am just saying if cars can be individually monitored then they can have individual speed limits. My guess is if they figured out a way to charge for the privilege it would happen.

        I wonder how it would work if the owners of a highway could set the rules.

  11. By the way, I lease a Mazdaspeed3 from my employer. After activating the TomTom nav system by inserting its SD card, I discovered that it, too, “knew” the speed limit on certain highways, leading to the question, who could monitor this information and (no small aside) track my trips? I disabled it by removing the SD card and get by just fine without it.

  12. The EU proposal was an obvious trial balloon to gauge reaction. Now that everyone has reacted vehemently against the concept, the powers in Brussels are backtracking. I don’t buy for a minute that the proposal wasn’t being seriously considered in some form, and it might well be that an attempt will come to pass a “softer” version that would, say, affect only new cars and not require retrofitting.

    Another such trial balloon several years ago was European Parliament member Chris Davies’s idea of requiring top speed limiters in new cars set at 101 mph. His “rationale” was that this represented the average EU country motorway speed limit of 81 mph (130 km/h) + 25%, and how much more over the stated maximum speed limit should cars be allowed to go? Davies’s idea received a similar reaction from member countries, and Brussels likewise backed down then too.

    They’ll keep trying. But Brussels might well wait until after some bad incident to push through such an idea, much as the gun grabbers in the US tried to use the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, as an excuse to pass new national gun control legislation.

    • Thats what Im thinking they certainly considered it- just like the loon Chris Davies. What I personally think will happen(and people do sometimes call me paranoid) is they will wait for some tragic “accident” to happen and then launch their reactionary authoritarian “measures”- too many times this has been seen in history.

      • Ha! Charles. You’ve heard of the expression: “You’re Not paranoid If they Really Are out To Get you.” ?

        Seems to me, your friends are a lot like mine: They don’t think that anyone IS out to get them. They are the free gazelle(!) immune from lion attack. … Just graze on.

    • Hi PC,

      I’ve never denied nor tried to hide this. But it’s entirely beside the point. My “safety” is none of your business – and vice versa.

      Look: You’d be a lot “safer” if you were forced to wear a helmet everywhere you went, never were allowed to engage in “risky” hobbies, eat “dangerous” food… and so on. You see where I am headed?

      Unless you believe you have ownership rights in other people, you have no business forcing them to be “safer” (as you see it).

      I have no issue with making an argument that – as an example – one should wear a seat belt; nor with encouraging people to buy them for this reason.

      But that is not what we are talking about – not what I criticize, at any rate.

      What we are talking about is forcing people to buy seat belts – and to wear them (and so on) or else.

        • Charles wrote, “…that is the point I always try to make but many don’t seem to grasp!”

          Jon Rappoport writes about how many people have become social machines, nothing more than androids. Seems to me, you and I, and a lot of others, wish those androids could just Snap Out out of it. And grasp the idea,

          But nooo,… they can’t do that.
          WHy if, Michael Corleone says yes to war in Syria, they jump.

          http://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2013/09/04/michael-corleone-says-yes-to-war-in-syria/

          If Michael Corleone says wear your seatbelt, or else! The People jump, and look at you like you’re crazy for not jumping too while asking, How High? And, Don’t you love the empire?

          Pardon me for rambling, I just paid my $127.50 seatbelt ticket today. … And my $65 failure to obey a signal device (for stopping at a red light and then going when there was absolutely No on-coming traffic). Notice the imbalance in those amount$? Strange, that.

          • There are a million cutting at the branches, for every one hacking at the root. (Paraphrase of Thomas Jefferson)

            PS: Dynamite works wonders on roots…

          • human nature is “the root”. can’t be got round. or chopped. or dynamited. recall the INTJ discussion awhile back. think about how the milgram obedience experiments generalize.

            frontal assaults appealed to me when i was younger. then, later, windmill-tilting (intellectualizing/rationalizing as a means to an end). all of that, in whatever guise or permutation, is just denial.

            human nature isn’t a root that can be grafted & hybridized in a more libertarian/anarchic direction. human nature is more like winds that distribute its seeds & uproot its trees, not to mention spinning its mills. circularity. there’s that revolving hamster wheel again.

            don’t spit into the wind, sang jim croce. good advice. you don’t mess around with jim (or slim – there’s always somebody tougher as my pap used to say), i.e., don’t fool with mother nature.

      • Eric,
        You missed my point, or perhaps I didn’t present it well.. My “safety” comment was totally tongue in cheek. My point..Both sides can use the stats to suit their agenda ..They will point to the numbers to justify more more more . We look at numbers and ask why? ..and at what cost? That’s all

    • Mee too. I can’t even make it up my fucking driveway in the winter because the damn traction control. I stall my engine with the gas pedal to the floor.

  13. It’s not going to happen, e.g. people getting mad and disobeying… it’s too late. People are too comfortable, too beholden to the state to get upset over something as small as this .

    We’re at the beginning of a technological dark age.

    • Here’s one HUGE problem with automatically limiting speeding…sometimes there’s a legitimate reason to speed and this machine wouldn’t know it!

      For example, if you’re transporting someone to the hospital with something serious (heart attack, labour, massive injury) every second counts, but this machine would force you to be all proper and slow as opposed to letting you get there ASAP and deal with the cops later!

      And clovers, just to cut you off at the pass, don’t give me any crap about “that’s why you call the ambulance” because if a family member needs to get to the hospital there is no WAY that anyone’s going to just sit there and stare at them until the ambulence eventually arrives when you have a vehicle right there and the skills to use it. That’s common sense.

      This law will end up killing more than it saves.

      • Here’s one HUGE problem with automatically limiting speeding…sometimes there’s a legitimate reason to speed and this machine wouldn’t know it!

        For example, if you’re transporting someone to the hospital with something serious (heart attack, labour, massive injury) every second counts, but this machine would force you to be all proper and slow as opposed to letting you get there ASAP and deal with the cops later!

        TPTB don’t give a shit; the law is the law. If some of us Mere Mundanes become “collateral damage” and die due to the performance limitations imposed on our cars, then, oh well. We’re just Mere Mundanes.

        • As I’m sure Bevin can confirm, under Chinese traditions law and good governance only ever involved justice etc. as a side effect. It was really all about maintaining cosmic balance, the harmony of the universe, or whatever you would call that. Unjust things weren’t wrong because they were unjust, i.e. in themselves, but only because they disrupted those higher values – and, quite often, they were considered harmonious after all and so weren’t forbidden but even mandated.

          At least harmony required that someone go to jail after a trial, so if the accused got off they locked up the prosecutor instead (think Zimmerman…).

          • Dear PM,

            Let me give you the short answer first, then later on, when time and space permit, the long one.

            The short answer is an old Chinese expression:

            “天下烏鴉一樣黑”
            “Tian xia wu ya yi ban hei”

            It means:
            “Crows everywhere are equally black”
            or “No matter where you go, the bad guys are all alike.”

            Sort of a cynic’s affirmation of our common humanity.

    • Right on. The intellectual culture masters and teacher accreditation agencies call it the “post industrial age”. They have had wet dreams about it for years.

  14. Wonder if the paper really got it “wrong” or if Brussels is really just back tracking trying deflect justifiable criticism on a bad law.

  15. Brussels is back tracking on this. They are now denying it is a rule.

    The link was attached on this Autoblog post. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/09/03/europe-considering-70-mph-speed-limiters-on-all-cars/

    http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/ECintheUK/reports-of-brussels-big-brother-bid-to-impose-speed-controls-are-inaccurate-beyond-the-limit-2/

    eports of “Brussels Big Brother Bid” to impose speed controls are inaccurate beyond the limit

    September 1, 2013
    Number of View: 3359
    Rating: 4.0/5 (22 votes cast)

    Reports in the press over the last day or two have suggested that the EU intends to bring forward “formal proposals this autumn” to introduce automatic speed controls -known as “Intelligent Speed Adaptation” or ISA, into cars. This is quite simply not true and the Commission had made this very clear to the journalists concerned prior to publication.

    The Mail on Sunday for example (the only one of these articles online with no paywall), uses a quote from a Commission spokesman but chooses to leave out the first and most important sentence given to the paper’s reporter, which was this:

    “The Commission has not tabled – and does not have in the pipeline – even a non-binding Recommendation, let alone anything more.”

    The Daily Mail on Monday 2 September had the integrity to include this quote, but only at the end of an article confirming the incorrect slant that the Commission was proposing introducing the system. According to the Mail’s imaginative opening paragraph cars would be fitted with it “if Brussels bureaucrats have their way”.

    The Sun On Sunday failed to use the quote above, which it had been asked to use, but stated that “motorists are set to be forced to have ‘Big Brother’ anti-speeding systems fitted in all new cars under EU rules”.

    In addition to receiving the quote in writing, the Sun had been told repeatedly in a phone conversation that there was no proposal and none on the way. But it manipulated the conversation to imply that we had said we could not understand why there would be any difficulty with introducing ISA. In fact, we had said we were surprised if the UK government were upset that the Commission consulted it on research into improving road safety, given close cooperation in the past.

    The Sun also made the odd statement that the “proposal is being pushed by the unelected European Commission”. Needless to say, it rarely reminds its readers that actual decisions on EU law are taken by elected Ministers and MEPs, including those from the UK.
    For the record, the rest of the quote supplied said to all the journalists involved said this:

    “The Commission has supported past research into ISA. There is a current stakeholder consultation and study focusing on speed limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses. One aspect of that is whether ISA could in the long-term be an alternative.
    And a second consultation on in-vehicle safety systems in general. Taking account of the consultation results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things. That is all. (NB such “staff working documents” are not adopted by the Commission at political level and have no legal status.) Nothing more is expected in the foreseeable future.

    It is part of the EC’s job – because it has been mandated to do so by Member States, including the UK – to look at, promote research into and consult stakeholders about new road safety technology which might ultimately save lives. This is done in close cooperation with Member States and the UK has generally supported such efforts.”

    It might indeed also seem strange to some that the UK government -if the press reports are accurate at least in that respect – apparently objects so violently to even being consulted about a range of future ways in which lives could be saved on Europe’s roads.

    • Hi Stephen,

      To me, it’s pretty clear the trend – law or not – is toward increasingly driver-less cars. Or at least cars in which the driver is more and more second-guessed and pre-empted by the car. For example, many new cars have traction/stability control systems that cannot be turned all the way off, or only after going through a tedious process that must be repeated each time you wish to turn the TCS off. You are nagged to “buckle up” by buzzers. Several new cars I’ve driven with automatic transmissions will not allow you to power brake launch. If you try, the throttle is cut by the computer. There are other examples.

      The latest stuff – like the speed limit recognition and automatic braking- will almost certainly be tied together. And while government may not pass a law requiring speed limiters, I have no doubt – none – that the insurance mafia will require in-car speed monitors. And since the law already requires everyone who owns a car to buy insurance…

      • Eric, after the 5 yr/ 50,000 runs out the R&R cost of all that sophistication will be $15,000.00. Time to start thinking of getting the latest model.

        • There is a nice ’84 Silverado regular cab with fresh paint and new crate 350 (and no computer or cats or air bags or traction control or GPS or black box) for sale at my local used car joint. They’re asking $4,500 – and if I weren’t po’ right now, I’d be on my way, with cash in hand.

          • Uh huh. I have a 2000 2500HD 4×4 for the same reasons. Sadly I am still a victim of the electronic flypaper. The Hall effect transistor (about $2.00 at Radio Shack) in the ignition key lock flaked out and disabled the whole system. Little known anti-theft feature that was a bitch to get information on.

  16. I always hate driving on weekends, especially holiday weekends. The reason I hate it is because all the idiots who normally are stuck in their offices and traffic jams are out on the open highway, with me and the other professional drivers, acting like fools. They all WANT to drive above the speed limit, but are WAY too paranoid about getting tickets or something, so they drive 3-5MPH under the limit, until someone tries to pass them. Then they start to speed up. And up. And up. Now they’re 10+ MPH OVER the posted limit, and the guy still isn’t able to pass them. But they’re coming up on clover who’s trying to pass the tractor trailer going 70 (most big rigs are slowed down these days to keep fuel costs down), and now we have a potential mess. Happened to me 3 times today, along with someone who was trying to commit suicide by doing 65 in the passing lane at 7:30am… when the gas drillers, AKA roughnecks, are on their way to work (if they show up on time they get a $50 bonus… but that’s another story). So roughneck is swerving all over trying to get around moron, and moron swerves at the same time as roughneck. “Here we go,” I think and start looking at the breakdown lane. Then, moron jerks it back into the passing lane and starts to speed up, not letting roughneck pass. roughneck guns it and gets around him. Then darned if another roughneck comes by and the same scene repeats! Except this time moron pulls off into the center median and puts the 4 ways on. I don’t know, maybe the guy was sleeping or something, but geez.

    My rules: Pick a speed and go. It doesn’t matter what speed it is, but maintain it. If someone wants to pass, get out of their way. If you want to pass, look in your mirrors BEFORE you get in the passing lane, because sure as shit they’ll be someone outrunning the speed rating on their tires (I guess there’s a secret Marine handshake that lets them get special tires rated for 200+ MPH on their F-150s) right when you plan your lane change. Stay out of their way.

    • Amen. It’s one of the things that motivated me to flee populated areas to the extent I was able. But after ten years, the Clovers are becoming a problem even here. At least $10 gas would thin the herd.
      Meanwhile, I try to ride one of my bikes as much as possible. Nothing – not even the fastest car – has the Clover Disposal capabilities of a fast motorcycle. That instantaneous burst of speed – almost no car can come close to matching it – combined with the ability to exploit open gaps of maybe three feet (the width of your machine) makes almost all things possible…

      • One reason I cannot understand ANYONE buying (or renting, as we recently did – not my idea) a Can Am.
        It’s the woman’s DREAM BIKE…

        To which I point out, it’s not a friggin’ BIKE. Handles like a drunk hippo (ATV), with all the associated good nature. (River Pigs are some of the most VICIOUS creatures around – ill-tempered, unfriendly, nasty, violent – they make ME look sociable.)

        And underpowered as well – 900 CCs and you have to wring the throttle to 5,000 RPMs or it stalls on a startup. OK, the tach goes to like 12,000 RPM, but – it should not need to be cranked just to get moving. And it’s worse on a hill…

        Anyway – let’s just say, SHE loved it, _I_ disliked it, and she didn’t get a speeding ticket when the cops pulled her over. 😉
        (Speed trap, one side of the road is 40 MPH, when you cross the border street, it drops to 30 – just after a hill, too. She was doing 42, they let her off with a written warning. Wonder what they’d do if I went through on a V-Rod? Cry and wet themselves? And radio the entire county there was a maniac out there endangering people?) 😛

        • My objection is the same as yours: These things bring the wrong element into the mix. People who either cannot or do not want to ride a real motorcycle – and who therefore probably ought to stick with cars. But because these things are regarded as motorcycles by the general public, they’ll likely end up causing problems for real motorcyclists – in the form of demands for new “safety” laws and so on arising out of “concern” over three-wheeler accidents, etc.

          I feel the same way about motorcycles with automatic transmissions – and would prefer that scooters be what they used to be:

          Scooters.

          Not step-through motorcycles with automatics.

        • Jean, the issue with the Can Am is, as you point out, it’s not a motorcycle. Look at it, it’s a friggin’ snowmobile; a Ski-Doo. Go to their site (http://www.brp.com/) and look at them side by side. Now, I had the opportunity to ride a couple of “sleds” when I was still traveling for work up in Minnesota. My first experience was on a plain vanilla 700 cc Polaris. I was thinking it would handle something like a Jet-Ski, but certainly not a motorcycle. C’mon…a track? Skis? How would you get bike handling out of that? So your description of handling like a drunk hippo is pretty appropriate even after I started getting the hang of snowmobiling. I was pretty pleased that the Minnesotans that brought it commented after watching me ride that they’d never ridden it that fast.

          So not to be outdone, another one of my customers brought out his brothers 1100cc Arctic Cat “mountain sled” for me to try. It was highly modded and even had tungsten carbide spiked cleats on the track for rock work. That sucker was fast! I hit over 130 indicated on top of a closed landfill and had to back out of it before I took flying lessons over the side! Fun? Heck yeah! But it still handled like…you guessed it…a drunk hippo or maybe a fast walrus.

          I can see the fun in snowmobiles for sure. But turning a “sled” into a three wheeled asphault eater doesn’t make much sense to me, especially from a handling standpoint. If you want a snowmobile buy one. If you want a motorcycle buy one (or in the case of big cruisers, just buy a car). Of course if you’re Ghost Rider, all bets are off:

      • Yesterday I happened across a few Texas clovers on bikes. Out Cruzin’ on I70, 71MPH, heading to the camp site (or Holiday Inn). I try to pass, they speed up. I slow down, they slow down. Now, not only am I stuck in the fast lane, I got 2 straight pipe v-twins producing noise pollution that won’t go away. So I speed up again to pass, the dance continues. Finally I slow way down to an unsafe speed and they get the point. At least there wasn’t anyone on my bumper. I don’t know if they were f***ing with me or what, but if they were they should know that a 3/4″ ton truck with a large topper full of tools and a somewhat fatigued driver (afternoon rush hour) isn’t something to be screwing with at highway speeds.

    • Me too. Hey Eric, not sure if you would know this info or not, but is there a common EPROM used in those ODBII computers? If so, I might look into an EPROM burner and see if I could make some custom images that could be dropped back on to the existing chips that would disable some of these “features”.

        • That might be easier to pull off than most people imagine. I haven’t looked into it, but I have a hard time believing that the GPS providers’ systems (for TomTom, Garmin, et al.) are all that secure or firmly locked down.

  17. You guys have got me thinking. What if a large group of us in this country decided for one day to actually FOLLOW the ridiculous speed limits, or better yet, to treat the speed limit literally — as the OUTSIDE limit — and travel only at the posted MINIMUM speed, such as 45 MPH on the freeway, or 15 MPH in town. The theme could be “Slowing Down to Save THE CHILDREN!!!” Even if just 5 percent of the population participated, imagine the traffic jams during rush hour! Imagine the RAGE!

    Maybe people then would begin to see the absurdity of our speed limit laws.

    • @Repeat – I think you are on to something

      City of San Jose, CA: Report to the city council

      Traffic Citation Revenue: Revenue Has Declined Over the Last Five Years and the City Continues to Receive a Small Share of the Revenue

      Such revenue has fallen County-wide. Two possible explanations for the revenue drop include a decrease in traffic violations that result in payment to the City and delinquency by traffic violators.

      This report includes three recommendations for the City to (1) potentially enhance the revenue it receives from traffic citations; (2) ensure it is promptly notified of the results of audits by the State Controller’s Office, and (3) receive appropriate, timely information that it can use to improve its operations. The Administration has reviewed the information in this report and their response is shown on the attached yellow pages.

      http://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3175

      Ah,…..Lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth, but no mention of public safety or reduction in traffic collisions.

        • Over objections from CalPERS, a judge last week declared that the city of San Bernardino is eligible for bankruptcy, paving the way for a historic showdown over the sanctity of public employee pensions.

          Experts say the city is expected to develop a plan that would “impair,” or reduce the amount of money paid to CalPERS. That would translate into lower pension benefits for retirees and current employees

          http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2013/09/04/3201879/san-bernardino-bankruptcy-ruling.html

          San Bernadino the 17th largest California city, is only a 3 hour drive from my underground survival bunker in Las Vegas

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Bernardino,_California

          San Bernadino is only safer than 8% of American cities
          http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/san-bernardino/crime/

          Population is 200,000 people – Crimes per year

          MURDERS RAPE ROBBERY ASSAULT
          30_________ 82_____ 804________ 1,290

          Chance of being a crime victim 1 in 97 per year

          Property Crimes per year
          BURGLARY THEFT MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT
          2,590______ 4,784___ 1,689

          Chance of being property crime victim 1 in 24 per year

          189 crimes per square mile each year

          -Better to be robbed only by criminals than by both Govt and criminals

          • San Bernardino also hired back a convicted, jailed, fraudster lawyer at big bucks to make sure the city councilmen and their pals got big bucks stuffed in their pockets just days before the bankruptcy filing.

            Like Bevin posted. CalPers and city bosses are Tony Soprano incarnates.

    • I’ve posed the same question many times. Where I live the interstates would be come a parking lot for most of the day. They simply cannot clear traffic fast enough at the PSL. Vehicles would build up on the interstates and traffic jams would end up lasting most of the day.

      • I’m sure if some bureau-rat pondered that scenario carefully enough, they’d use it to justify even more destructive and interventionist measures (e.g., driving bans on certain days based on license plate numbers [a la the California gasoline rationing scam of the late ’70s], bans of certain car models, forced mass transit usage, etc.) that would further complicate and things.

    • No, they’ll never get it.
      Better to euthanize the clovers.

      They’ll just blame YOU… Same as always.
      There’s a cure for sociopathy, but no cure for stupid.

  18. Need to learn more on high voltage electronics.
    Pop everything in the police station a few times, see how fast they give up…

    (Eh, a man can dream.)

  19. Note the UK is already fighting the Brussels bureacrats.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/01/uk-fights-eu-speed-limit-devices

    Even anti motorists AA does not want this either.

    But you are right, it is time to fight this.

    Even though most car companies are corporate, I do wonder if people really will buy a Porsche, Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes (AMG) and other high price performance brands if they can’t have the ability too.

    I think you might yet see some in Europe fight this misguided proposal meant more on nanny people, than safety.

    • Always look to the Great Brittan “lab” for their Orwellian policies. They always refine it there then bring it here. They did it with surveillance cameras, taking control of your kids at birth, and the forced welfare state. Those cows have been beaten down so long they will eat anything. Maybe this time is different?

  20. Yes, Eric. Very soon, the only driving experience that will be available to the common man will be an Xbox game. As you said elsewhere, the ultimate goal of our overlords is to eliminate the automobile altogether. It’ll be much easier to get the sheeple into those FEMA camps waiting for them with buses and cattle cars.

    • I think we need attack on several fronts, legal and “illegal.” Get on juries by any means necessary. Educate as many people about jury nullification as you can. fight every citation, ticket and charge to the fullest. Appeal as much as you can and always request jury trials. Call the court’s jurisdiction into question. Make it as expensive as possible for them to keep persecuting us. Do everything in your power to hamstring, forstall and tie up the system. Shun the SOBs wherever you encounter them. If you own a business, refuse to service them. When you see them in public, record their every move. Do to them what they do to us mere mundanes. Their only power comes from what we give them, wittingly or otherwise. Quit voting, it only encourages them. Quit the cable and stop buying from businesses that contribute to our enslavement. We can win against them, one small battle at a time. Hit them where it hurts, in their wallet. One color just about everyone still responds to and respects is green, the color of money.

      • I disagree about not voting.
        VOTE AGAINST THEM.
        Constitution, Green, Socialist, Communist – but AGAINST the frauds of the big two.

        May not mean much, but – it’ll show (in numbers) that we’re getting annoyed.
        OTOH, if half the voting population can’t even get off their lazy @$$ to vote… Why should they listen to us?

          • No question, but work on it anyway.

            Next step will be shooting, I think, and gassing Americans.

            Shooting I like, but this’ll be military shooting us. Maybe not OUR military, either.
            Gassing? Well, if we start with D.C., NYC, San Fran, Chicago – we don’t lose much.

        • Jean, people have been voting for hundreds of years, and look where it has gotten us. You are correct when you say it wouldn’t mean much. But think of what it would mean to the creeps in DC if they gave an election and only one percent of people bothered to vote? They would be cowering in the corners of their plush offices, wondering what we’re up to. Emboldened by this symbolic flexing of our collective middle finger, more of us would dare to disobey. Nobody would give a crap whether the useless parasites who claim the authority to rule us listened or not, and at last we would be free.

          • If we could achieve that 1% voter turnout – they’d claim that it was a “Mandate from the people” when THEIR guy won with 50.0001% of the vote. (remember, the numbers don’t ened to match up.)

            I like the principle, but the point would be lost on the feeble-minded shmucks, shills, and parasites – and enhance the police activity by the remainder, who would target those “UnAmerican scum” who didn’t vote. Remove them from the voting pool by making them felons… Now it IS a Mandate from the People, even if only two people could vote – it’d still be (s)election by the people.

            I like the idea of stuffing the box with any and every third party – communist, socialist, green, liberty, constitution, WHATEVER – just to send the message we ARE awake – and we’re getting restless.

            In terms of tactics (think shooting war), it’s bad to tip your hand.
            In terms of being PEACEFUL, far better to tap someone on the shoulder and say, “hey – wake up!” than to show up in D.C. with an army to “discuss” things with Congress – besides which, Congress and POTUS would vanish by the time that army got anywehre, making it a futile gesture, and ensuring that all our “worst fears” are realized anyway. (It’s then justified to the Authoritarian mind.)

            If I wanted to Destroy things – that would be easy, STFU, GTFO, enlist a good cadre of people who know how to do the same, and in 10, 20 years – “Olympus has Fallen” is more than a film. Differences being, “Olympus…” is just entertainment, and the objective isn’t to get power over certain assets (missiles in the movie) or “influence” the POTUS to perform “executive orders” [Passing laws by decree – like a king or emperor, huh?]

            No, if it were THAT bad, the objective would be to get nukes in the city, and set them off (preferrably without being there at the time, but things happen…)
            Now, if it’s that “simple”, why the followers? Well, with all the puppets gone, you’ll at least be up to the second-tier support people. The people who come seeking influence, seeking to “assist” making policy? They need to be dealt with next – and you can’t do that with nukls. also can’t make them think freedom, nor can you reason with them – they’re under even more control than the puppets, since puppets are expendable, but the levels above those figurehead puppets – that’s middle-management, probably.
            So it’s like an onion, we just need to peel back the layers – but we’ll only get a handful of layers, if that, using anything obvious. So more followers on “our” side are needed, than on theirs. Mostly in intel – get names, find connections, target the head of the serpent. It still hinges on destroying some of the MOST IMPORTANT things in our coutry, though, so I’m not even thinking that way.
            (And this is simplified, too, like a movie script – I.E., not going to work, not going to survive first contact. )

            So, the “brute force” methods are all OUT, for obvious reasons – meaning, we need to find a better mechanism for leverage. Sleeping witht he dogs will give us fleas, though…Voting is about the only thing I can think of that WON’T de an overt (prosecutable) action. At least it lets the puppets know they’re in a bad spot – maybe that will help them clip their strings? I dunno.

            It’s depressing, really. WAITING is bad, PROVOKING is bad, VOTING is ineffective (at best), speaking will take generations if not be impossible (subversion of the educational system, and dumbing-down of the populace in general, as well as destroying concentration capacities, and then the subliminal-level meme insertion into the subconscious via mass media…)
            What’s left?
            I am VERY, VERY afraid of where this will lead, as I DO think that there will be a push for tagging and controlling children via nanotech or implanted chips – we’re talking a government that (like every other government ever) is willing to kill its own people to teach them how bad things “REALLY” are – like during Prohibition, when government agents sold wood alcohol to people and blamed bootleggers (in fact, THAT is how it was written up in MY HISTORY TEXTBOK – in the mid 80s. Let alone NOW, 30 years later.)

            Then they wonder why we don’t slaver and wet ourselves about Uncle Sam fingering us in the airports?

            Ultimately, power comes from the barrel of a gun (or a cannister of germs or chemicals) – IE, naked force. You can’t FORCE the powerfult o do something – only the weak.

            We are outnumbered by the Zombie Horde, if we lose our force multipliers as well – then we’ll be subsumed soon enough. It’s just a war of attrition – we’ll lose.

  21. There is way too much money to be made in the speeding ticket racket for them to festoon any speed governors on American cars by regulation.

    • When implemented over here, it would likely be configured to allow the cars to speed just enough to continue the revenue stream from speeding tickets. I would guess they would limit consumer speed limits to 85 mph…that way they can still let you go fast enough to monetarily rape you, yet restrict your speed just enough to make it easier for the LEO’s (that’s Liberty Eradicating Officer) to catch anyone trying to evade.

      Remember, it’s not about safety…it’s all about revenue.

    • I am an American veteran (US Naval Reserves, US Army Special Forces, & Army National Guard), Wisconsin Native, living in the UK, married to an English/Welsh woman, and all but one of my kids were born here (one was born in Dallas, TX). I have travelled all around the USA, and done a fair bit of driving in Europe, but mostly throughout France and Belgium. If you want some thoughts….

      The EU is ALWAYS trying to shove various mandates on people, and the irony is the UK tends to obey (but grumble), the rest of Europe decides what to obey. The French are famous for masses of bureaucracy…and ignoring laws, taxes, and EU mandates en masse. In reality, to comply with the majority of EU mandates, French laws, and taxes would end the economy. The farmers, truffle gatherers, and any number of cash heavy professions are known (and properly and rightly as an example to humanity) at scoffing at (and I quote) “the ridiculous notion of the income tax.” If Americans did this….and I have suggestions, but here is not the place.

      They do have some good recommendations sadly turned laws, and a new one is the mandate that ALL drivers must have breathalyzers in their vehicle, certain safety equipment, and UK right hand vehicles have to put a semi transparent adhesive sticker over their headlights to prevent glare or blinding of oncoming traffic. I am opposed to mandates, even “common sense” ones, and I was crushed to recently encounter, in your archives, how that Land Rover Defender was crushed because since coming here to the UK, seeing the myriad ones, and loving the bare bones nature of a truly rugged and amazing vehicle, it sickens me that if we move back to the USA, I will not legally be able to get it and am unsure what, exactly I would have to do to get one (suggestions?) and keep it.

      I will say, on a lot of issues, the UK is NO BASTION OF FREEDOM. There is so much that is hateful (gun control), and there is a lot I would say Americans would not tolerate, but damned if I have not noted Americans tolerate almost everything. After Katrina, door to door warrantless, unprovoked, gun confiscations and abuse of those home owners who held out without any disaster relief for over a week should have provoked outrage, even armed resistance (Americans of a prior age used government attempts to seize firearms to rally resistance, the result was ambushes by minutemen and then Lexington & Concord…the shots heard around the world).

      In OTHER ways, I find life in Europe, and the UK in particular freer than the USA. Still no medical cannabis…but we can now grow non thc hemp. I pray for medical cannabis, then total decriminalization, it will be a boon to a pain condition I am otherwise authorized strong narcotics for (but not a puff on a plant). I could give so much info on this. I worked in counter drug task forces when I came out of the special forces and into the guard, called right back to active duty for special work they termed it (ADSW), and that experience turned me from an ardent prohibitionist to one against it based on the rife, personally witnessed corruption, and THEN I started studying the politics and economics of prohibition and the history of it, and opened my eyes. However, here in Europe, the UK in particular, while there is plenty of stupid enforcement etc, there is not the conviction mill and mass asset forfeiture incentive nor real mandatory minumums and so on. You are far far less likely to be railroaded into enormously long convictions, and for many convictions, they can be “spent” which means after a specified number of years (with exceptions for things like Murder) the conviction record is just dropped, you are NOT considered a convicted felon or anything, so there is not the forever consequence of forever punishment, no social forgiveness turning an offender, especially a drug offender, nor an arrest record (sans conviction) that basically in a computer networked world tells police who pull you over you are “guilty” without ever having been charged or found guilty. In the USA, cops can access your arrest records and whether or not you were charged, and even if NEVER convicted, they forever keep that data accessible, now perhaps nationwide, and to THEM you ARE convicted, just not imprisoned because among most cops today, the mentality has developed that if you were arrested, you did it and got off on a technicality… (and I grew up in a family of police, firefighters, have an uncle who is a very famous, in those terms, retired homicide detective who rose to captain of a major metropolitan force, said cops today are very differnt than in his day, he and his compatriots, even prior to becoming detectives, almost never issued traffic tickets, my friend’s late father also rose to lieutenant, and bragged he NEVER gave a ticket in his whole career but these relatives and friends are a rare, and unheard of breed today…peace officers who respected the rights of citizens, saw a career in police as a way to protect the community, NOT government nor corporate masters).

      On the plus side in the UK, the reliance on cameras has meant that though they go at you hammer and tong to collect revenue, and there are no safety patrols (truly almost never a cop when you need one), almost every OTHER kind of traffic crime CAN be committed with impunity because no police presence = no enforcement. There ARE passive ways to defeat the cameras (though a populace with a will to resist could readily sabotage them though this never really happens to any degree, something I think should change). Also, unlike the USA, there is NO staking out taverns at closing time to pull people over for DUI. The DUI laws are strict, but you HAVE to work at getting caught, be drunk, driving very badly or in an accident, and in so very many accidents police do NOT respond. For instance, I was rear ended by a 17 year old kid getting a bajowski or handy j from his girlfriend while driving. He missed me putting my turn signal on a block before I turned into my driveway, missed me slowing speed gradually, accelerated to 35 on a cramped residential street with speed limit of 25 and really, a safe driving limit of about 20 due to being so narrow and with cars parked on each side…streets in UK are often half size or less of US equivalents. Cops did NOT want to respond, informed me they NO LONGER RESPONDED UNLESS THeRE WERE INJURIES. When I informed them I was injured, they still said they would NOT show up. I wanted the guy cited, as his story kept changing about things, and he was accusing me of having pulled out in front of him from nowhere, ignoring the fact that I was driving at least six blocks watching him approach in rear view mirror. Even when cops did show up, they madeit clear it was a courtesy, not to be expected in traffic accidents.

      Now, aside from issues that despite all the taxation the police protection and safety aspects are sliding away, in myriad ways, they are also at least gone from predatory traffic enforcement. You might need to worry about meter maids, speed cameras, and all kinds of idiot things, but when I finally came back to the USA, the stark nature of the police state…it bugged me when we came back to the UK in 2005 “permanently” it bugged me even more…the airports, etc.

      The USA seems to be, especially at federal level, just adding more and more and more arms, laws, executive orders, thugs, scanners, etc. I hated having to go through airport security in USA. Amazingly, the airport security in UK is effective AND non invasive and polite. In UK, despite clearly having disabilities, I refused to use their new cancer causing scanners, I was put through a stupid rigamarole , pat down, you name it . I merrily insulted the men doing it in a fairly friendly way that highlighted the stupidity, but something even more amazing happened. Though I DID have full medical excuse and iron clad legal permission in the form of documentation, the so called US security was so busy treating a returning and then departing native son, disabled vet, as a terrorist that they forgot to treat him as a drug smuggler. I was carrying 600mL of liquid morphine in a 100mL and 500 mL bottle (the latter size liquid bottle should have triggered at least some scrutiny given their hyped fear of science fiction binary liquid explisives policy), not to mention multiple boxes of morphine slow release tablets. I was fully prepared to whip out my medical documentation, travel letter, you name it if questioned, but to prevent hassle, said nothing about it unless I was queried. Customs missed it…in my carry on book bag coming into the USA, and security and their EXTENDED SEARCH missed it leaving as I went through airport security. The capsules of morphine were wrapped in foil and definitely triggered multiple levels of detection machine. I know because on my trip I had a visit as a witness in a federal court matter and ALL of this was detected in building security and they scratched heads about me having it until I produced a letter showing them I HAD to have access to it as needed, and it could NOT be taken away. In essence, it was, and has proven on multiple visits, to be harder to bring drugs into a federal court house or building than through an airport with the most invasive and abusive policies AND on the lookout for drug smugglers with policies prohibiting bringing liquids through for fear of terror.

      The facts is simple..the problem in the USA is the mass of police. Police at the city or town level, the county level, the state level, the federal level, which itself is a multiplicity of armed enforcers…fbi, secret service, irs special agents, BATF, now homeland security, a new SA/SS type paramilitary force literally armed and equipped against american civilians (the preference for hollow point rounds means they are not likely to penetrate body armour of a military type terrorist or enemy army but perfect for tearing up the body of an unarmoured civilian) with armoured vehicles, and so on. These cops are everywhere. I remember it living in various places in the states, and the ubiquity of bored cops with all kinds of authority, seeking to be recognized by amassing arrest records, means they are forever looking for victims to feed into the increasingly privatized plantation prison economies and industries, asset forfeiture, and creation of second class citizens (personally I see NO reason why a man who has completed his sentence, not on parole, but completed his sentence, NOT be allowed to vote, own arms, carry them, etc…the notion is these are RIGHTS, not privileges, and the notion that a felony conviction carries a permanent abridgement of RIGHTS to franchise and the 2nd Amendment is specious…a felony conviction does not abrogate your rights to religious or speech freedom), which seems to be the goal of the US government as, compared to the rest of the world, the US imprisons like no others to a degree that is insane.

      So in short, yes, the EU is trying all kinds of stuff….making it stick, and enforcing it, everywhere, is going to be hard. In many ways, also, enforcement is a difficult thing here because there are far fewer police, far fewer predatory engagements or encounters, and far less enforcement. A law that is not able to be widely enforced preys on the citizenry less here in the UK compared to the USA where the masses and masses of police, their militarization, the mass SWAT mentality that has inappropriately metastisized almost everywhere, makes American “freedom” just like the USSR I grew up being told was evil, that did things we would never do in the USA, and what motivated me to long dream of, then join the US military as a defense against. I came to realize in the military that I was a tool of empire, defended no freedom, and counter drug ops made me realize that in empire we were abusing our own citizens. Take away the drug war and you can conservatively cut police rolls by 50% in most places. Take away most of the abusive laws and regulations, like CAFE and so on, and you can probably make do with 1/3 of the police, and in reality, ALL of homeland security, the BATF, etc, could go away because the Federal government should have minimal to no police function and the key reason for it was Prohibition, and on that terrible basis, all the rest of the evil flowed.

      Also, with so called driver licensing, I would end that too for freedom. IN a European city they did an experiment several years ago. They removed ALL traffic signs regarding do this, do that, and so on, all traffic enforcement. Of course citations dropped to zero, but most importantly, there was a drastic and statistically significant reduction in accidents, period. A lot of traffic signs confuse, and people trying to pay attention to chronic shifts in speed limits are more of a danger to themselves and others than people who MIGHT speed but typically drive at speeds they can comfortably manage and feel safe without worrying about needing to suddenly jam on the brakes for fear of a speed trap or camera. Less enforcement reduced revenue…but also the onerous expenses of enforcement, and what do you know, the people actually drive better, safer, when NOT being enforced and policed and nagged with constant sign based instructions. In the USA, the massive multiplicity of 4 way stops, traffic lights is not only an expensive investment, but sometimes a real hazard and obstruction to traffic flow. I see European cities with far more congested driving conditions do far better with roundabouts than signs but when Americans are trying to cope, they cannot. As a rule, they are uncomfortable with the higher speeds on motor ways, especially dual carriageways…they NEED, Americans typically NEED to be regulated in their driving. I live in an area with a lot of them, and a common complaint about learning to drive, next to the wrong side, is how to deal with roundabouts, the lack of stop signs, the lack of yield signs, the lack of traffic lights…Americans are conditioned to need to be told what the hell to do in signs and signals…having their cars do it for them is a likely next logical step…but arguably after putting up with CAFE…and your piece on the Crown Vic being phased out for idiot CAFE laws, and the Ford Ranger only being available abroad now(not to mention the obvious loss of the station wagon decades ago) is a sign. I mentioned it in connection to a DARPA revelation, but using proven technologies from 100, 73, 53 and 40 years ago respectively, I could offer the readily designable (by any worthwhile automotive engineer), economical, safe vehicle that would be simpler, safer, sturdier, more reliable, and more eco friendly in every way…no solid state electronics needed (no EMP vunlerability)…no computers needed…no airbags or catalytic converters, no fuel injection even. But it would surely be illegal despite being superior in myriad ways to what is out here, and I am sure an experienced and especially older automotive engineer who knows in house tech and advances (I do not) from the big American companies would add many more suggestions to my concept car

      So to deal with it…cut police budgets. Cut them. Make it public service. Cut salaries. Police are notoriously corrupt and corruptable, but they serve corrupt government. I can tell you from my South American experiences I would rather have a cop who accepts my on the spot gratuity, or “paper free fine” to having to go to the courts and be victimized by insurance company and pay off a whole system. The “uncorrupt” cops of the USA are that way because they have one of the only remaining blue collar professions that pay what they used to in real terms, opportunities long gone for most Americans (I can give you a shocking but properly calculated number…American average wage in 1970 was 7200 dollars…in 2010 it was 40,000, but in real terms, the actual purchasing power using real apples to apples comparisons rather than the altered apples to oranges comparisons now adopted shows that said AVERAGE 7200 dollar 1970 salary equates to 102,000 in 2010 purchasing power, AND the average working year in 2010, despite being only 40% as remunerative as 1970, was 5 working weeks longer…about 200 more hours of work for 40% of salary, but that is the result of a shift of economy where most people manufactured or grew things to a service economy of government “workers” masses of police, the loss of manufacturing, and the terrific impact of regulations which went from taking only 4% of GDP in 1950…not a low regulation era when you consider the impact of all those New Deal economic agencies and war regulations imposed and kept…but a bargain compared to the 15% negative GDP caused by regulations by 2005 or so. As a result, even if they have no idea why, cops in the usa are already pre bribed by the system and hard to bribe by you…they fear losing their good blue collar job with dream benefits and absolute job security…something most Americans who had a work ethic could count on in the strong economy era of pre 1973. Though OFFICIAL government statistics..the cooked kind, paint a different picture, even those show an inflation adjusted peak in earnings potential year of 1973. Since then, there has been NO growth in real average wages, AND there has been the addition of five weeks of working hours, so in every measure, real wages have fallen despite all of the massive productivity gains (the top 1% that owns and invests for their dynasties has gained, unlike you and your wages, the number one productive asset of most americans, someone with a large capital, with massive investments, can offshore assets, inflation proof them…you cannot inflation proof your wages and labor, you suck on it, and being the tail end of the consuming chain, inflation hits you about two to three times as bad as those in the early part of the cycle…investors, government purchasors).

      If anyone wants clarification on my points, email me at (no space) ancient (no space) engineers AT google (no space) DOT com (no spam or insults).

      Ditto if you want to know how I suggest we deal with it without having to pick up a rifle and shoot. There are ways for people to bring the system down, self organize, and it may become critical. You maybe cannot evade taxes without risking jail, nor dump your driver license nor plates unless millions join you, BUT you can stop paying taxes by dropping into a far lower tax bracket and earning less money…and if most people can learn to do so without compromising a standard of living and coming back to traditional values and roots…even expat for some, expat your assets for others, into non reporting, non tax mutual treaty nations, live on less money but greater physical and financial security, then perhaps the system can implode. The federal government is runnin at 40% borrowing for every single yearly budget, and it is getting worse. Not only is this technique going to be perhaps a great tool of resistance, community, and lifestyle, it might be critical, absolutely critical, if the currency collapses. The USSR showed that when the pay stops, or when the paychecks buy nothing, the most ardent govt worker will stop showing up and or sell nukes to feed families. All that bidy armor is inedible, and if afghanistan and iraq teach anything, if as few as a quarter percent of americans eventually took up arms…intelligently, the nation could be brought to an economic halt. No economy….no money to pay soldiers and police….and they all have vulnerable homes, families, sleep if they turned into the kinds of people who would shoot protestors down in the street or commit acts of terror and brutality. I won’t opine as to whether things will go that way, I hope not, but just opt out. There are ways. I can suggest some. Opt out, and when enough do…and those that are inclined to probably aerein the productive 20% of Pareto’s Law, their impact will be significant. Calculate how much in the way of taxes you pay, calculate what the wage, benefits, equipment, retirement, and operations cost of a hero cop over a year. How many people have to pay taxes to support that, and agencies, military, so on. If only a few million Americans in that 20% opt out, in ways that CANNOT be considered criminal nor criminalized…the fiscal, thus economic, thus political impact would be enormous.

      • Hi Murff,

        Thanks for taking the time to give us your perspective from across the pond!

        For me, the most depressing thing is to observe the descent of England – the birthplace of Magna Carta and perhaps the first codified respect for the rights of the individual as opposed to the state – become a Social Stalinist state, in which people are ubiquitously monitored and controlled – and may therefore one day soon find themselves being herded into boxcars, too.

        And of course, we here in the United State are not far behind.

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