You may remember last year I told everyone that the new transportation regulators were planning on putting in breathalyzers into every car. This was part of the 2,700-page Infrastructure Bill, buried deep in the bill.
Congress has created a new requirement for automakers to find a high-tech way to keep drunk drivers and impaired drivers off the road. However, there is much more to this positive sounding mandate. Guess what, they are now saying the quiet part out loud!
The NTSB, or National Transportation Safety Board, wants blood alcohol monitoring systems mandated in all new vehicles to stop drunk drivers. It wants to require passive alcohol-impairment systems, driver monitoring systems or a combination of the two, to prevent a vehicle from operating if it detects the driver is drunk.
The NTSB also wants technology that can prevent speeding, but it doesn’t have any authority to set any mandates. That has to be done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2020, an estimated 11,654 people died in alcohol-related accidents in the U.S., which is a 14% jump from 2019. The same year, there were another 11,258 deaths in crashes involving at least one car that was speeding.
Big government will make you guilty even if you don’t drink or speed. They want compliant sheep on the road. Under the legislation, monitoring systems to stop intoxicated drivers would roll out in all new vehicles as early as 2026. But there is more.
I've been saying this for years: if you think used cars are pricey now, wait until everyone wants a "pre-connected" car. Finding an older car will be challenging, as many will keep their vehicles to avoid buying a new one with all of the nannies on it. If you think used car prices are high now, already up 40%, buckle up. They are about to rise even more.
All those insurance companies offering "a discount" for simply plugging this gizmo into your dongle. No thanks, because they will monitor and report to the government as well. Beware of the discount, these dongles are an open network for access to your electronics.
This is an Orwellian move: the government initially offering "guidance" on how to drive and then having the power to shut down your vehicle because you don’t comply with their arbitrary standards.
Can you imagine having some alarm go off every time you floor it?
Connected cars, either from the factory or via plug-in monitors in, are the future of the NTSB and the government. Get ready for your freedom to drive to be handcuffed.
The government's Big Brother won’t let you drive if they think your eyes, breathe or finger print detects, correctly or incorrectly, that you could possibly be impaired or distracted in any way. It will be great fun when merging onto freeways, avoiding accidents and getting to your destination.
If there are breathalyzers in cars, why not uncle marijuana detectors? Although 4.7% of the U.S. population aged 16 years or older reported driving under the influence of marijuana and 0.9% reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs other than marijuana, these estimates are lower than the 8.0% (20.5 million) who reported driving under the influence of alcohol in 2018. This can cause accidents as well.
Just imagine having to get your fingerprint tested, blowing into a tube and submitting to an eye scan before you can start your car!
Now the government will be in the car with you !
There is so much more to discuss on this, put your comments below and let’s start the conversation.
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Lauren Fix, The Car Coach, is a nationally recognized automotive expert, media guest, journalist, author, keynote speaker and television host. A trusted car expert, Lauren provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and safety issues for both the auto industry and consumers. Her analysis is honest and straightforward.
Lauren is the National Automotive Correspondent for Newsmax TV, a conservative news net carried in 23 countries and in over 35 million U.S. cable/satellite homes. She is also The Weather Channel and Inside Edition’s auto expert. Lauren Fix serves as a juror for the esteemed North American Car & Truck of the Year Awards (NACTOY).
Lauren is The Car Coach columnist for Parade Magazine and eBay Motors and writes a weekly column. She also appears weekly on USA Radio’s DayBreak USA.
Lauren is the president and founder of Automotive Aspects, Inc., a consulting firm with a wide range of multi-media services, including media consulting, broadcast messaging strategy, public relations and television production.
Lauren is the author of three books: most recently, Lauren Fix’s Guide To Loving Your Car with St. Martins Press, Driving Ambitions: A Complete Guide to Amateur Auto Racing, and The Performance Tire and Wheel Handbook.
Lauren’s broadcast experience includes Oprah, Live! With Regis and Kelly, The View, TODAY, 20/20, The Early Show, CNN, FOX News, FOX Business, MSNBC, HLN, TBS Makeover and a Movie, Inside Edition, ESPN, TBS, Discovery, Speed and NPR, to name a few. Lauren previously hosted four seasons of Talk 2 DIY Automotive on the Do-It-Yourself Network (DIY), was the National Automotive Correspondent for Time Warner Cable and hosted Female Driven on Lifetime TV.
Lauren’s articles and advice have appeared in USA Today, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, eBay, Woman’s World, Esquire, First for Women, InTouch and Self. She has also contributed content to Motor Trend, Truck Trend, Hot Rod, Car Craft and many other automotive publications.
Lauren is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA) and is an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified technician. She inherited her love of all things automotive from her father, who owned a brake remanufacturing business and worked for many U.S. manufacturers. Lauren has been fixing, restoring and racing cars since the age of ten. She has been advising drivers almost all her life.
In addition to being a leader in positive consumer awareness and the automotive industry, Lauren is often asked to speak to groups around the world about her success in marketing, motivation, entrepreneurship, parenting and other lifestyle topics.
Lauren was named the 2015 WIN Award, 2013 SEMA Business Network “Mentor of The Year”; SEMA Business Network 2012 Woman of the Year; and awarded various Car Care Council “Automotive Communications Awards” in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Past awards include 2008 Automotive Woman of The Year and 2010 Woman of Distinction – Entrepreneur winner. Lauren Fix was inducted into the National Women and Transportation Hall of Fame in 2009 – a very high honor for a hard working automotive professional.
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