By guest writer Joe Cadillic, editor of the MassPrivatel Blog.
A new Senate bill, called the Safe Drivers Act (H.R. 4531), would create a real-time national driver surveillance program. A local Massachusetts TV report revealed that law enforcement would know anything and everything about a driver at the click of a button.
MA Congressman Seth Moulton announced the legislation at the beginning of October in response to the June crash involving an allegedly impaired commercial truck driver who killed seven members of a motorcycle club in Randolph, New Hampshire. The driver had been arrested in May on charges of OUI in Connecticut.
Moulton plans to make it easier to share drivers’ personal information with law enforcement across the country. “The ultimate goal of the bill is to help lead to the creation of a national, real-time data sharing program, Moulton’s office said.”
There are few places in America that do not use Automatic License Plate Readers to track our every movement and even that does not appear to be enough for Big Brother’s insatiable desire to know everything about everyone.
Moulton said in The Salem News, “The goal is to incentivize states to modernize their systems and work together to make sure their databases are compatible to improve communication on dangerous drivers.”
The U.S. DOT would offer states more than $50 million to help create a national real-time data sharing program and would enable the U.S. Department of Transportation to connect states that have similar modernization needs.”
One has to ask, why would states need bribes grant money to help create a national driver surveillance program?
This bill would also give law enforcement, real-time alerts of every driver. From The Salem News:
“Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has also called for the creation of a nationwide system to alert states when one of its drivers incurs a violation that could trigger a suspension in another jurisdiction.”
H.R. 4531 would also give law enforcement access to videos of accidents a driver was involved in and much more.
“Developing or acquiring programs to identify, collect, and report data to State and local government agencies, and enter data, including crash, citation or adjudication, driver, emergency medical services or injury surveillance system, roadway, and vehicle, into the core highway safety databases of a State.”
Collecting and storing court judgements of any auto accident a motorist has been involved in will give law enforcement unprecedented access to a motorist’s driving records.
“It would link core highway safety databases of a State with such databases of other States or with other data systems within the State, including systems that contain medical, roadway, and economic data.”
Calling this a national, real-time data sharing program really doesn’t do it justice. It should be renamed and called a real-time national driver surveillance program.
You can bet that this bill will be modified to monitor motorists in ways that we haven’t dreamed of yet, making the Safe Drivers Act even more of a privacy nightmare.
By storing and tracking everything a motorist has ever been involved in, we are turning every driver into a suspected criminal.
Do Americans need or want another national surveillance program?
We already have a national ID program called Real-ID that gives law enforcement an unprecedented look into everyone’s personal lives.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.