Blogs > Skoop's Blog

In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Big Brother Is Watching

Big Brother Is Watching
     Author George Orwell would love this.
     Out in Oregon they are trying a new way to collect money for the roads by attaching, get this, a GPS unit that will tally up the miles you drive and you're assessed a fee accordingly.
      Can you say Big Brother?
     The good news is the Michigan Department of Transportation director Kirk Stuedle can't…at least not yet or in the foreseeable future.
      Nonetheless Stuedle briefed a house committee here this week on how the Oregon plan works and turns out it does.
      "The Oregon study proved it can be done…I don't know if it's the best to do," he quickly adds.
        For one thing there is the privacy issue.  Even though the government installed GPS unit would not record where you drove and with whom, suspicious motorists might not believe it.
       Can you imagine the public outcry if the state ordered everyone to get hooked up with one of these gizmos?
       A ton of hardware is also needed to count the mileage including attachments at the gas station.
       Stuedle called it a "web and a complicated mess."
       But other states are looking at this because everyone knows the money collected from the gas tax is steadily declining with no reversal in sight.  Consequently basing a payment system on miles driven would be more equitable and might produce more revenue.
       A special task force is expected to look into this alternative and Stuedle figures there might be a variation of the Oregon plan out there, but he is unaware of it right now.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home