The “Infrastructure Investment Act” was enacted by President Joe Biden back in 2021. This law should worry any self-respecting liberty lover since it is over a thousand pages lengthy and contains a confusing array of clauses.
This law’s apparent drunk driving clause has become the focus of a significant controversy in Washington, DC. Initially, the measure aimed to prevent alcohol connected driving fatalities by requiring all new cars to have “drunk driving prevention tech” fitted.
To do this, it would be government compulsory that all new cars sold after the year 2026 have an automatic “kill switch” installed. This would cause the car to shut down if the system sensed that the driver was operating the vehicle erratically, possibly indicating that they were intoxicated.
As per the “Fact Check” published by USA Today, Section 24220 of the bill mandates that the Highway Safety Administration formulate regulations mandating the inclusion of technology in new cars that “passively watches a driver,” identifies potential impairments, and either prevents or limits vehicle operation “if impairment is detected.”
It is effectively within the government’s jurisdiction to compel private corporations to equip their cars with this technology. This is blatantly against company owners’ economic liberty. Furthermore, it will be expensive to install and implement these devices, which will eventually be passed on to customers in the form of higher pricing.
Congressman Thomas Massie, a Republican, showed courage at the beginning of November by offering an amendment that would certainly defund the kill-switch mandate. November 6, Massie shared a post on X:
If my “kill switch” amendment is approved, it will nullify the impending law requiring all new cars produced after 2026 to have technology capable of turning them off automatically.
Massie indicated that his mandate would be voted on that evening in a follow-up post on November 7:
Although having the freedom to roam is essential, new cars sold after 2026 must have a kill switch installed by the government. Based on data collected, the kill-switch will disable cars and monitor driver performance. My amendment to now defund this mandate will be put to a vote tonight.
Unfortunately, on November 7th, the change was not approved, as Massie noted in a post on X:
All cars sold after 2026 are required by federal law to feature a kill switch that has the ability to disable your car based on how well you drive.
Sadly, Massie’s proposal was thwarted by a group of Republicans and Democrats. Based Politics’ Hannah Cox outlined some of the risky ramifications of this mandate provision:
Yes, the purpose of Massie’s amendment is ostensibly to prevent drunk driving. However, once it’s in place, that brings us one big step closer to being able to utilize it for other purposes. It would be incredibly stupid to believe that the government won’t eventually take that power in ways that will violate fundamental civil rights and do harm to innocent Americans.
Cox went on to emphasize that the fact that Washington, DC, approved such a mandate shows that there is no regard for capitalism in the corridors of Congress:
The kill switch is thus merely the most recent in a long line of violations of this right, and according to Massie’s vote total, the only free movement we’re witnessing at the moment is in Congress—away from capitalism and the Constitution.
All told, if we want any kind of free market ideas to be enacted at the federal level, we’re going to need at least 100 Thomas Massies in Congress. The current DC uniparty is just too dependent on large government.