The National Transportation Safety Board wants you to think that it is constantly looking out for you. Part of that crusade is an attempt to mandate technology to make driving safer.
But in the process they are transforming driving from a democracy into a dictatorship.
Today, the NTSB released its "Most Wanted List," which is actually a list of problems in transportation that it wants to eliminate. Now, we're not against less crashes, but we are against the government being in every part of our lives.
Two of the items on the "Most Wanted" list really stick out to us.
First, they want to totally eliminate distracted driving through government regulation as well as technology that will disable cell phones and other devices while they are in cars.
Secondly, they want driver aids like lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, collision warnings, automatic braking, and stability control to be standard, mandatory features on all new cars.
It seems that the NTSB wants to be able to control nearly every aspect of how we drive. If it starts with mandating warning systems and banning the use of any portable device in a car, it could lead to speed limiters, black boxes, and GPS tracking, since that would be safer. But it would also be an affront to the freedom of driving and would give the government even more power in our day to day lives.
Pretty soon, it could come to a point where you can try and drive like an idiot and the car just won't let you. We've already seen this.
Mandating systems that cost the automakers money is also a short sighted move. This tech isn't free, and those costs won't just be absorbed by the companies. They'll be passed on to the consumers.
The beauty of driving is the freedom that it provides. By regulating nearly everything, cars are on the way to becoming glorified public transport. That's not cool.
Thankfully, the NTSB can only make recommendations on legislation, but it cannot actually make them into laws. That's up to other branches of government.
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