The Automobile Association says GPS devices could be installed in every Auckland car, tracking where and when the driver goes around the city, as part of governent moves to introduce a form of road tolling in the city.
You know what: fuck you.
AA principal adviser Barney Irvine said the system would not be a road toll as we traditionally know it, but would cover the whole Auckland region and replace the fuel tax.
Motorists would receive a bill based on the number of kilometres they travelled on which roads and at what times.
"This is a very different proposition to what we saw come out of Auckland Council last year with a proposed motorway user charge," Irvine said.
The idea is that stealing from Auckland drivers as they travel around the city, or try to, will “manage demand” and make it easy to get around – and, not incidentally, to make a pile of money out of mototists at the same time (because anyone who believes this would replace a fuel tax should be immediately removed of the power to vote on the grounds of being too simple to understand how politics works.)
However, there were numerous issues to consider, Irvine said. [You think? – Ed.]
Fitting every car in the city with a GPS device would be a big job.
"It's no easy task when you consider the average age of our fleet is 13-14 years old. It would be a stretch for a lot of people."
It would be a stretch even getting one into my car, which like many classic cars is well over 14 years old and entirely devoid of electronics, thank you very much.
There were also privacy concerns, he said. [You think!? – Ed.] "There's no precedent here for something as ubiquitous as this that spans the whole city and all drivers."
My immediate reaction is this: Keep your effing hands out of my car!
And you know what? After some thought, that’s my considered response as well. We roll over on this stuff far too easily.
You want a toll network, that’s a whole different question. And we can have that discussion if you wish. We can talk about choosing to use toll roads; about choosing to install a reader for those roads; about the increasing importance of making these roads private to keep our private information about how and where we’re getting around away from Big Brother. But to blandly suggest ongoing govt surveillance simply for their pricing convenience shows how little respect is left for privacy and property. Because to quote from the blogger at No Right Turn, who mercifully lives miles away from this increasingly-congested place:
A GPS in every car, tracking you everywhere you go? This isn't a toll system - its a fucking surveillance network.
Again, once the information is collected, it is useable by other government agencies. The police can already access toll-road records through the production order system (or simply by asking); this would let them get everywhere you have ever been. And they wouldn't even have to pay for the tracking device - you'd have to buy it for them in order to be allowed to drive.
Fuck that shit. Lets keep our privacy. Lets say "no" to spy-roads.