by Mike Masnick
Fri, Sep 14th 2007 7:56pm
Back in 2003, the state of Oregon considered a driving tax, which would involve putting GPS devices on cars so the government could see how far you drove, and then tax you for it. The idea being that those who drive more should pay a larger portion of taxes to support the roads they drive on. Of course, for many, many people, the idea of the government keeping tabs on where you drive and how far you go seems rather Big Brotherish -- and those people note that you can accomplish pretty much the same thing (making heavy drivers pay more taxes) simply by taxing gasoline. Soon afterwards, the head of California's DMV suggested that a similar taxing and tracking plan made sense. Over in the UK, they've looked at similar proposals as well. It certainly seems a bit early to bet on such a concept as the next big thing, but that apparently hasn't stopped one company from building a device for exactly this purpose and showing it off at a recent conference. The company is smart in positioning it less as a device for tracking drivers and more as a way of "creating toll roads out of every road." The News.com article then goes on to rail against the very idea of toll roads -- but perhaps that's because they're quite rare here in northern California. In other parts of the country, they're a lot more common. Rather than worrying about the toll road aspect, it seems like the idea of government agencies having immediate access to information about where you drove at what time is a lot more troublesome.
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