Former Vice President Joe Biden signed the infrastructure bill into law. Buried in that law is a provision that requires all new cars, trucks, and SUVs to have a “kill switch” installed by 2026. The system must connect to the vehicle’s operational controls, so as to disable the vehicle either before driving or during, when impairment is detected.
Marketed to Congress as a benign tool to help prevent drunk driving, this measure is disturbingly short on details. The switch will passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired. 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.
The worst part of the legislation is the open nature of the system which will feature at least one backdoor for third-party access to the system’s data at any time.
Who has access to the data collected by the kill switch system? Will the police be given access to the data without a warrant? What about insurance companies, will they be granted access to the data in order to better understand what kind of driver is being insured, or worse, will they know with what frequency your driving habits “change” which could then be interpreted as impairment?
What if a driver is not drunk, but sleepy, and the car forces itself to the side of the road before the driver can find a safe place to pull over and rest? Considering that there are no realistic mechanisms to immediately challenge or stop the car from being disabled, drivers will be forced into dangerous situations without their consent or control. Imagine your car stopping in the middle of a bad neighborhood.
This law is a disaster in the making. They just can’t resist bossing people around. Tyrants, the whole lot of them.