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One provision in this bill would allow the IRS to take away the passports of US citizens

The U.S. Senate recently passed a new highway bill dubbed the "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act", otherwise known as MAP21. The legislation made it through the Senate without much in the way of resistance and is expected to pass the House as well moving to the White House where Obama is likely to sign it into law.
Once the bill becomes law, all new 2015 model year vehicles will have to have complicated black boxes to record vehicle data. The black boxes are formally known as event data recorders and would be able to record information leading up to and shortly after an accident.
The CFR 49 provision of MAP21 would allow the data recorded to be retrieved by the owner of the vehicle or by courts in the event of legal proceeding. Presumably, that information can be gathered to determine if the vehicle or driver was at fault in an accident resulting in a fatality or severe injury and it would seem the data could be called into court in the event that someone attempts to fight a traffic ticket.
“Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part,” states the bill.
CFR 49 reads in full:
(2) PRIVACY- Data recorded or transmitted by such a data recorder may not be retrieved by a person other than the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle in which the recorder is installed unless–
(A) a court authorizes retrieval of the information in furtherance of a legal proceeding;
(B) the owner or lessee consents to the retrieval of the information for any purpose, including the purpose of diagnosing, servicing, or repairing the motor vehicle;

(C) the information is retrieved pursuant to an investigation or inspection authorized under section 1131(a) or 30166 of title 49, United States Code, and the personally identifiable information of the owner, lessee, or driver of the vehicle and the vehicle identification number is not disclosed in connection with the retrieved information; or

(D) the information is retrieved for the purpose of determining the need for, or facilitating, emergency medical response in response to a motor vehicle crash.
Information can also be obtained from vehicles in the event of an investigation or inspection conducted by the Secretary of Transportation. The big push for black boxes in vehicles started when Toyota vehicles were blamed for unintended acceleration. Toyota argued it was driver error and in cases where vehicle operators died in the resulting accident, there was no way to know what happened in the absence of a device to record what was going on with the vehicle.

MAP21 is also notable because there is a provision attached that would allow the IRS to strip Americans of their passports restricting foreign travel if they owe enough tax money. That unpaid tax liability threshold is said to be $50,000. 

Sources: Infowars, The Truth About Cars

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RE: The real reason cars cost so much
By euler007 on 4/20/2012 1:59:41 PM , Rating: 2
People don't seem to realize vehicles cost more because they are SAFER. Yes, a 90 Honda Civic got 45MPG but it also weighed 2/3 as much as the Civic today and you were sure to die in a highway accident.

Actually our opinions differ. You have the american mentality that the heavier the car is, the safer you are. That's only true if you hit smaller cars. I would rather have a highway accident in an 89 civic than relive my near-death Ford Explorer barrel roll experience.

RE: The real reason cars cost so much
By Etsp on 4/20/2012 4:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
There are exceptions to every rule, and SUVs are certainly an exception. Ford Explorers were notorious for being top-heavy.

Remember that Firestone tire issue? Ford recommended people inflate their tire to below Firestone's spec for the tire, so that the vehicle would ride lower and be less prone to tipping over. As a result, the tires failed, and Firestone was blamed.

You ARE safer in a heavier car, so long as that heavier car is reasonably stable.

In terms of safety, you can reasonably generalize: Mini-vans and Stable SUVs=>Crossovers>Mid-size Sedans>Compacts=Unstable SUVs

By euler007 on 4/20/2012 4:54:57 PM , Rating: 2
You ARE safer in a heavier car, so long as that heavier car is reasonably stable.

I disagree, the safest car is one that will deform to absorb the most energy without transferring it to the occupants.

A heavy car hitting a lighter car will have an advantage. Two well designed light cars hitting each other is the safest situation, two heavy cars hitting each other need to dissipate a lot more kinetic energy.

The civic (sic) thing to do would be for everyone to drive light cars to attain a safe situation, but the mentality has always been a arms race type situation where people try to protect themselves at other's expense.

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