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Rep. Thomas Massie Rallies Against Privacy-Invasive Vehicle “Kill Switch” Mandate

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At a congressional review on Wednesday, Transport Department official was fervently scrutinized over the imposition of a federal “kill switch” guideline for cars by Republican Rep. Thomas Massie. A prerequisite for auto-producers to incorporate a kill switch as a solution to intoxicated driving was a distinguishing feature of the bipartisan infrastructure statute, signed off by President Joe Biden in 2021.

Despite a spirited effort by Massie to halt the guideline, his amendment was defeated in the House of Representatives on November 7, with 229 votes against and 201 in favor.

According to The Daily Caller, this kill switch is expected to monitor driver activity and terminate vehicular operation on detecting impairment, with all newly manufactured passenger vehicles required to incorporate this feature by 2026, as directed by Section 24220 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

During the hearing by the House Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Massie questioned National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Acting Administrator, Ann Carlson. His main concern was about the specifics of the technology, and its current status of existence.

This “kill switch” gadgetry uses in-vehicle sensors to determine if the driver is impaired or under the influence, incapacitating the car if such irregularities are detected. Carlson admitted that while such technologies are available on the market, the technology needed to achieve the targets set by both the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Vehicle Safety Act, is not yet available.

Further emphasizing her wariness towards hastily implementing a technology that may generate false positives – a situation where an individual wrongly assessed to be impaired is prevented from operating their vehicle – Carlson revealed the Biden administration’s ambition to create an “intelligent speed assistance” technology.

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