Infrastructure Bill Includes Pilot Program to Track Your Vehicle Miles

Infrastructure Bill Includes Pilot Program to Track Your Vehicle Miles

Immage credit: The Associated Press

by Katherine Hamilton

Big Brother wants to know exactly how far Americans are driving — and he wants them to pay for it too.

Tucked away on page 508 of the U.S. Senate’s 2,700-page, so-called “infrastructure” bill, are the plans for a national “per mile fee” pilot program. And it is exactly what it sounds like — the more you drive, the more you pay.

More concerning than cost is privacy. In the name of fighting “climate change” and funding future infrastructure, the federal government would most likely have to track everywhere Americans drive at varying degrees, all while reportedly keeping private data safe.

At first, and on a strictly volunteer basis, the secretary of transportation would track participants from all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico using various methods to record vehicle miles. The secretary of the treasury would annually establish a per mile user fee for “passenger motor vehicles, light trucks, and medium- and heavy-duty trucks,” and the amount charged could vary between vehicle types and weight classes to “reflect estimated impacts on infrastructure, safety, congestion, the environment, or other related social impacts.”

The secretary of transportation would start piecing the $10 million pilot program together no more than 90 days after the bill’s passage and would implement the plan no more than a year later, according to the text.

Possible recording methods listed in the bill include:

  • Third-party on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) devices.
  • Smartphone applications.
  • Telemetric data collected by automakers.
  • Motor vehicle data obtained by car insurance companies.
  • Data from the States that received a grant under section 6020 of the FAST Act.
  • Motor vehicle data obtained from fueling stations.
  • Any other method that the Secretary considers appropriate.

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