Less regulation. More law and order.
That’s the promise from the new administration in Washington. Motorists have a major stake in both of these battles. Not since the oos membership led the fight to repeal the 55 mph National Maximum Speed Limit more than 20 years ago have we needed a stronger presence in the nation’s capitol to influence public policy on behalf of the motoring public.
The Spring 2017 oos Legislative Campaign is dedicated to funding a robust lobbying effort in D.C. designed to take advantage of the changing tide. Your donation to the oos can go a long way toward helping us achieve the following agenda:
Subject all proposed federal government transportation infrastructure contracts with private, for-profit investors to a fully transparent review and approval process. In addition to the work done in this area by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, an oversight committee of independent transportation experts should also be part of the process. (Many examples of PPPs – public-private partnerships – gone awry exist in the public record. Too many decades-long contracts have been signed that have led to frequent increases in tolling and road user fees without adequate controls to protect the motoring public.)
* Eliminate Federally Funded Ticket Blitzes
For too long NHTSA has extorted the states by threatening to withhold federal highway funding unless certain enforcement activity quotas are met. The federal agency also offers a carrot by way of grants that fund police actions for statewide campaigns such as Click It Or Ticket seat belt enforcement, random sobriety checkpoints, and sanctioned speed traps like Virginia’s annual Operation Air, Land and Speed that measure success by the number of tickets issued and the amount of fines collected.
* Limit the Use of Automated License Plate Readers
Stop the wholesale automated gathering of open-road license plate data by vendors around the country who sell the information to interested parties for a profit. Limit the comparison of data captured by ALPRs to specific law enforcement agency databases such as those maintained by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the states for missing/kidnapped persons, terrorist suspects, and national/state criminal justice networks. Furthermore, captured data should not be retained for more than five days unless flagged immediately by one of the law enforcement databases.
* Restrict the Bounds of Civil Asset Forfeiture
Create a federal mandate that disallows the seizure by the federal government, a state, or any U.S. locality of private citizen property unless that citizen has at least been charged with a misdemeanor, if not a felony. (The U.S. DOJ Asset Forfeiture Fund held $94 million in 1986, $1.25 billion in 2005, and $5.1 billion in 2014, the latter of which marked the first time the total of assets seized by the U.S. government exceeded total losses due to burglary in the country.)
* Stop Federal Funding of Vision Zero Initiatives
Several large metropolitan cities are actively restricting motorized vehicle use in favor of bicycle and pedestrian traffic, thereby limiting commerce and reducing personal transportation options while driving motorists away from city centers. (According to Census.gov, the combined rate of bicycle commuting for the 50 largest U.S. cities increased from 0.6 percent in 2000 to just 1.0 percent in 2008-2012. If the entire country is considered, not just large cities, the overall bicycle commuting rate sits at 0.6 percent.)
* Set Proper Protocols for Connected Car Networks
Before vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technologies are implemented on a large scale, statutory protocols must be established to protect the privacy and security of motorists.
* Establish Liability Limits for Manufacturers and Drivers of Vehicles with Autonomous Features
Protect motorists who use autonomous vehicle technologies that require the human driver to take control from computerized systems in certain situations. Deep-pocket manufacturers have already shown a propensity to blame the driver whenever an accident occurs which can leave many drivers ill-equipped financially to defend themselves.