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Opinion

New York City's Bill de Blasio and the future of the nanny state: Black boxes in your car

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Transportation,Timothy P. Carney,New York,New York City,Bill de Blasio,Privacy

He sees you when you're speeding

He knows just when you brake...

New York City's new mayor Bill de Blasio promises to be the apotheosis of progressive politics, blending retread Leftist ideas from the 1970s and pioneering new Big Brother plans.

De Blasio's plan to slow down traffic in New York City is a good window into the future of big government. As the New York Post reports:

The city may rig yellow cabs with technology that would stop charging passengers whenever the driver breaks the speed limit, as part of a broad effort to make the streets safer.

Taxis would also be equipped with black-box recorders that can track speed, braking and all movement by the vehicles.

Cabbies don't like this, but they operate at the pleasure of the city government, so they're a logical first step.

When our betters in Washington decided that the traditional incandescent needed to die, they started by imposing efficiency standards on the bulb purchases by federal agencies and Congress. The next logical step was forcing these standards on the private market.

How long before every car registered in, say, New York State or Maryland is required to come with a black box, whose data the state can access upon suspicion of a crime?

We already know how defenders of these laws will argue. In the words of Obama advisor and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

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