Big Brother is riding shotgun: Oregon blames mandatory GPS for cars on hybrids

Where does the state government get the money to maintain roads? Gas taxes. What if your car does not use gas? How is the state suppose to know if an electric car is using the road? Some states are planning on requiring GPS units in cars, tracking the distances you travel, then tax you for every mile you drive. Oregon just finished testing a year-long "virtual tollway" and will probably be the first state to have a GPS car tracking system working. Oregon's FAQ for the program explains why state-mandated GPS in cars is all the Prius' fault:
  • "Fuel efficiency of Oregon's automobile fleet has eroded fuel tax revenues over the past 30 years. Further improvement of automobile fuel efficiency, particularly with the adoption of the hybrid electric vehicle engine, will have an even more dramatic effect on fuel tax revenues in the not-too-distant future."
You might say, why not just increase gas taxes? The legislature does not want to and Oregon says that at the heart of the matter, it's really a fairness issue. If electric cars "use the roads, you ought to pay for them." Wait a minute, you might say, isn't this the same State that gave perks for everyone to get hybrids and full electric cars? Now, they are going after us with a this tax? Basically... yes. I will let them explain:
  • "From the transportation revenue perspective, fuel-efficient vehicles produce less fuel tax revenue because they consume less gasoline. While it is good policy to preserve our environment and our resources, it is not good policy to let transportation revenues decline so that the transportation system cannot be properly maintained or modernized. This may sound like a policy contradiction, but it need not be."
What about our privacy? The FAQ says "a GPS device only knows where it is; no one else does." LOL! Yeah, I believe that one. Why not just use a state odometer? An odometer won't work because it does not know when you drive out of the sate where they can't tax you legally. GPS is the only solution. Thanks, Treehuggers for buying all those fuel-efficient cars (he said sarcastically). Way to help the state invade everyone's privacy and usher in Orwellian tracking of cars.

[Source: USA Today, Oregon DOT]

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