“This week the House will vote on my amendment to defund the federal mandate that requires all new vehicles be equipped with a kill switch to monitor driver performance and prevent vehicle operation,” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said Monday.
This week the House will vote on my amendment to defund the federal mandate that requires all new vehicles be equipped with a kill switch to monitor driver performance and prevent vehicle operation. pic.twitter.com/FVWDpGsyUI
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) November 6, 2023
“I’ll proudly be supporting this amendment!” Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) commented.
— Kat Cammack (@Kat_Cammack) November 6, 2023
Social media users commented on this egregious, unlawful government overreach hidden in the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
“Of course the government was trying to make it where they could monitor & shut off your car remotely,” Texas Lindsay commented.
Of course the government was trying to make it where they could monitor & shut off your car remotely—I hope @RepThomasMassie’s bill passes. If not, this is yet another massive overreach of civil liberties. https://t.co/4QiK2TaNvk
— Te𝕏asLindsay™ (@TexasLindsay_) November 6, 2023
“Our wanna-be totalitarian government wants to be able to turn off your car remotely,” Steve Milloy said.
Our wanna-be totalitarian government wants to be able to turn off your car remotely.👇 https://t.co/GNtUEQA10J
— Steve Milloy (@JunkScience) November 6, 2023
“Excuse me?! KILL SWITCH??? Why haven’t we heard any debate about this??? Pretty sure most citizens DON’T want their government to be able to control their cars!!! Thank you for bringing this to our attention,” Louise Kistner responded.
Excuse me?! KILL SWITCH???
Why haven’t we heard any debate about this???
Pretty sure most citizens DON’T want their government to be able to control their cars!!!
— Louise Kistner (@LouiseKistner) November 6, 2023
The ‘kill switch’ was included under the guise of preventing “alcohol-impaired driving fatalities.”
SEC. 24220. ADVANCED IMPAIRED DRIVING TECHNOLOGY states “to ensure the prevention of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology must be standard equipment in all new passenger motor vehicles.”
From the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act:
It gets even better: Barr points out that the bill, which has been signed into law by President Biden, states that the kill switch, which is referred to as a safety device, must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.” In other words, Big Brother will constantly be monitoring how you drive. If you do something the system has been programmed to recognize as driver impairment, your car could just shut off, which could be incredibly dangerous.
There is the possibility the kill switch program might measure your driving as impaired, then when you try to start the car up again the engine won’t fire up. That would potentially leave you stranded.
But wait, there’s more. This kill switch “safety” system would be open, or in other words there would be a backdoor. That would allow police or other government authorities to access it whenever. Would they need a warrant to do that? Likely not. Even better, hackers could access the backdoor and shut down your vehicle.
Barr points out what a tremendous violation of Americans’ privacy this is, and he’s right. In addition, the term “impaired driving” isn’t defined by the legislation, so it would be open to interpretation by regulators such as the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Do you want government regulators helping to write algorithms which might force your car to pull over and stop because you might be a little tired instead of tipsy? There was never a debate on the House or Senate floor about this issue. Instead, this bill was passed through with many backroom deals I detailed out before here, if you care to learn more about that.
It’s time for not only car enthusiasts but also regular Americans to get loud and tell their US Representatives and Senators what they think of laws like these. Obviously, our elected officials don’t care too much about our safety or privacy, so we need to remind them what we expect now and moving forward.Advertisement
“You may be shocked to learn that the federal government has already mandated a kill switch in all new vehicles. Demand that your representative vote for this amendment to repeal this Orwellian affront to our freedom of movement,” Matt Kibbe wrote.
You may be shocked to learn that the federal government has already mandated a kill switch in all new vehicles. Demand that your representative vote for this amendment to repeal this Orwellian affront to our freedom of movement. https://t.co/aIUSmctOA7
— Matt Kibbe (@mkibbe) November 6, 2023
Unsurprisingly, mainstream media went to work ‘fact-checking’ claims about a federally-mandated kill switch for new vehicles.
From the Associated Press in March 2022:
CLAIM: President Joe Biden signed a bill that will give law enforcement access to a “kill switch” that will be attached to ALL new cars in 2026.
AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. While the bipartisan infrastructure bill Biden signed last year requires advanced drunk and impaired driving technology to become standard equipment in new cars, experts say that technology doesn’t amount to a “kill switch,” and nothing in the bill gives law enforcement access to those systems.
THE FACTS: In November 2021, Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, ushering into law a $1 trillion bipartisan deal to maintain and upgrade the country’s roads, bridges, ports and more.
One provision in the legislation aims to prevent drunk driving deaths by requiring all new vehicles to soon include “advanced drunk and impaired driving prevention technology” as “standard equipment.”
However, in the months since the law passed, some social media users have misrepresented the provision online, falsely claiming it will give police access to data collected by the technology or allow the government to shut down cars remotely.
“Joe Biden signed a bill that would give law enforcement access to a ‘kill switch’ that will be attached to ALL new cars in 2026,” read several posts shared widely on Twitter and Facebook.
Experts who have for years been involved in creating and studying impaired driving prevention technology say that those claims don’t accurately reflect what these tools do, nor what the law says.
The law gives the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an agency under the Department of Transportation, three years to define which specific technologies cars should begin using. Once defined, automakers have between two and three years to comply.