Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Christmas Black Box


Speed-limiting devices should be fitted to cars on a voluntary basis to help save lives and cut carbon emissions, according to a new report.

The government’s transport advisers claim the technology would cut road accidents with injuries by 29%.

The device automatically slows a car down to within the limit for the road on which it is being driven.

Let’s get this straight: this is not about limiting speed. Why? Because there are already automatic speed control devices that drivers can use voluntarily – they’re called “cruise control” and do much the same job, albeit by allowing you to keep your foot off the throttle and covering the brake instead (so is probably safer than something which allows you to leave your foot on the accelerator). Let us not forget, either, that speed limiters are hardly much use on those mopeds whose west-side-gangsta-wannabe owners riders decide they are too cool to be limited to 30mph.

No, the key element in all this is the bit about the satellites. OK, stop laughing – I know I’m potentially into true tin-foil hat territory here, but the parallels between this story and the issue of ID cards is uncanny.

The real story with ID cards is not the plastic, but the infrastructure and the database that will be required to underpin it. So it is with speed limiters: it’s not the speed limiting capabilities, but the fact that it will enable a state-owned/regulated black box to be fitted in every vehicle, which can then be tracked.

ID cards are being paraded as the panacea to tackle the evils of terrorism, illegal immigration and, quite possibly (once the spin really gets going), third-world hunger. Speed limiters will tackle the evils of road deaths, climate change and, quite possibly, third-world hunger.

ID cards, like the speed limiters, are being introduced initially on a voluntary basis, which we all know is just an pre-cursor to their eventual compulsory introduction because they’ve been so successful/not quite successful enough/part of everyday life (helped no doubt by some thoroughly reliable and trustworthy government statistics).

I know, I know, speed kills. Well, technically at least, yes it can. However, the bottom line is that it’s not speed that kills, it’s the idiot behind the wheel, or the handlebars, or the careless pedestrian. What next? Personal black boxes?

OK, I’ll get my shiny hat….


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