Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

“There’s no freedom here. If there is, she’s an orphan.”

Bonus points for guessing what movie that quote is from.

The US Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a new proposal Friday to require heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and buses to include speed-limiting devices. If approved, all newly manufactured trucks, buses, and passenger vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds would be required to come equipped with devices limiting their speeds to 60–68 mph. That would cover big rigs, dump trucks, refuse haulers, many buses, and other large work trucks.

The new rule is being touted by the feds as an important step toward fighting the rise in traffic fatalities across the country, as well as a key ingredient in lowering CO2 emissions. “In addition to saving lives, the projected fuel and emissions savings make this proposal a win for safety, energy conservation, and our environment,” DOT secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

Safety advocates note that research shows speed to be a crucial factor in nearly a quarter of all truck crashes. Since 1992 all trucks in the US have been manufactured with the speed-limiting equipment, but the trucking industry has resisted calls to “flip the switch” to activate this technology. “Speed limiters are an available solution to large trucks flagrantly exceeding highway speed limits and needlessly putting the public at grave risk,” said Henry Jasny, senior vice president and general counsel for the Advocates For Highway and Auto Safety.

Perhaps surprisingly, the trucking industry is in support of the new mandate. “We know the cliché ‘speed kills’ is true when it comes to driving,” Sean McNally, spokesman for the American Trucking Associations (ATA), told Trucks.com. “Speed is a factor in a third of all vehicle crashes and 23 percent of all truck crashes, so slowing our vehicles down can have tremendous safety benefits.”

Hey, just think what wonderful things banning them entirely would do. I surely hope nobody thinks for one minute they’ll be stopping with trucks. Because you can be certain they won’t:

The ATA has urged safety regulators to limit the speed of all vehicles, including passenger cars, to 65 mph. But safety groups want the speed capped at 60 mph.

Emphasis mine, and all too obvious to anybody who knows a thing about how fascist governments work, and what they’re really all about. Hey, if it’s that great an idea, why not 50? Or 40? Or 30? You know the drill: IF EVEN ONE LIFE IS SAVED…

While we’re at it, let’s go the Full Fascist and make the minimum wage a thousand dollars an hour, too. And does anybody think that any government this meddlesome and intrusive is going to allow the Second Amendment to continue to exist for much longer? If so, you got some more thinking to do.

(Via Misanthropic Humanitarian)

Big picture update! ZMan sees where we’re headed with stuff like this:

All of this is familiar ground if you read blogs like this one. We no longer have poor people in the way in which we think of poverty. There is another angle to this that does not get much attention. The robot revolution is not just going to give us even more plenty with less human labor. The robot revolution will also strip away many of the positional goods. Robot cars, assuming it happens, turns the car into a public utility. Most likely robot cars will require banning human drivers so there will be no reason to own a swank ride to impress the neighbors.

It does not stop there. Putting the slack-jawed yokels out of work by automating the widget plant still leaves Cletus and Junior at the bottom of the social order. Instead of working, they will be provided a stipend so they can sit around all day playing games and taking drugs. When the plant managers and accountants are sent home with the stipend because robots took their jobs, something else happens. Suddenly, the old rules of status fall apart. Vast parts of the professional classes can be eliminated with automation, according (to) the futurists.

If you’re unconcerned about unreasonable speed limits on trucks being enforced by federally-mandated automated machinery, hey, don’t worry. Sooner or later they’ll get around to something you DO care about.

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3 thoughts on ““There’s no freedom here. If there is, she’s an orphan.”

  1. Perhaps surprisingly, the trucking industry is in support of the new mandate. “We know the cliché ‘speed kills’ is true when it comes to driving,” Sean McNally, spokesman for the American Trucking Associations (ATA), told Trucks.com. “Speed is a factor in a third of all vehicle crashes and 23 percent of all truck crashes, so slowing our vehicles down can have tremendous safety benefits.”

    Bullshit. The ATA is in favor of this because it will lead to MORE TRUCKS on the highways–benefitting the ATA, of course.

    Think of the highways as a conveyor belt. Understand that to move X freight Z miles in B hours, you either move the belt faster OR have more freight-carriers.

    See how that works? They can talk ‘safety’ (which has to do with brakes and tires, too) and sound like little saints while prospectively lining their pockets.

    (Don’t forget the “robot” self-driving trucks, either…)

  2. Some enterprising mechanics will find a way to make big bucks by designing a workaround to disable the speed disabling devices.

  3. Oh great, that means the bozos blasting down the neighborhood street will be limited to only 60/65. Oh wait…

    …since limiting to 60/65 won’t affect the majority of traffic deaths, how about we limit everything to 25…

    …kinda like the minimum wage, eh?

    (Zilla: mechanics? nah, drivers. A buddy drives a garbage truck, first thing they all do every morning is disable the speed governors)

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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