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How does VDOT choose which intersections get traffic signals? And, does a new bill mean Big Brother wants to track where we drive?
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By Scott Shenk
HOW WOULD you like it if the government made you put a black box on your car--a so-called "event data recorder"?
Well, the government is aiming to do just that.
In March, the Senate passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in
The act is chock full of transportation rules and regulations aimed at construction projects and safety, but the black box portion is spreading fast on the Internet and gaining plenty of negative traction.
The bill would require all new cars, starting in 2015, to have black boxes installed on them.
There are privacy protections included in the bill, but the government would be able to retrieve the data by court order, in an investigation or inspection, or to determine a need for medical response (apparently emergency responders can utilize information from the data recorders).
Not all of MAP-21 is as controversial as the data recorder section. Much of it is related
One such regulation targets distracted driving.
It would prohibit "electronic screens from displaying broadcast television, movies, video games, and other forms of similar visual entertainment that is visible to the driver while driving."
Hard to believe we really need such a law. Anyone who feels the need to watch videos or play games while driving should just stay home.
So, yes, MAP-21 has some good aspects.
But the black box bill smacks of Big Brother. It has been lambasted as such by online watchdog sites, in comments on stories about the black boxes, as well as in conversations spreading on Facebook.
One site--extremetech .com--takes a little steam out of the conspiracy theory by noting that many cars already have black boxes
Either way, it's a question worth asking.
What's your take?
Check out the Transportation blog (fredericks burg.com/transportation) for links to black box bill information and a poll where you can give them
Dear Scott: Regarding your article of April 9, 2012, about the double left turn on Spotsylvania Parkway at Cosner's Corner, you stated that the shopping center developer will put in a traffic signal at the intersection within six months.
I am curious about how the developer obtained VDOT approval for that traffic signal.