Buckle to Drive

  • August 28, 2023

If you want to know what’s coming, all you need to do is consider what’s already been accepted. Accede to the legitimacy of stopping drivers for no other reason than that they happen to be driving and – before you know it – people who just happen to be flying will be groped.

Similarly – because what we’re dealing with here is the way one thing leads to another when the first thing has been allowed to pass unchallenged – you can expect your next new car to not move until you’ve “buckled up” – because you’ve already accepted being pestered by your car to “buckle up.”

In fact, because you’ve already accepted being forced to buy a car with seat belts.

Well, because enough other people have accepted it. Have agreed it’s a proper thing for the government – which has become a kind of authoritarian parent – to force everyone who buys a new car to buy seat belts. The government-parent then requiring everyone to wear them, too.

Having gone that far, is it surprising to discover that your next new car may not allow you to drive it until you’ve “buckled up”?

It will do just that if it’s the new (2024) Buick Envista, which comes standard with Buckle to Drive “technology.” This “Helps remind the driver to buckle their seat belt before driving by preventing the vehicle from being shifted out of PARK temporarily when the driver’s seat is not buckled.”

Italics added – in the interests of etymological honest.

This is not a “reminder” anymore than you are a “client” or a “customer” when you are forced to go to the DMV to hand over money for “services” you do not wish to purchase.

It is a cudgel.

That is to say, it is a kind of weapon used by the car to get you to obey. It won’t let you shift out of Park – “temporarily,” for now – until you do what the car says. Or rather, what the government says you must. It is no longer enough to merely pester the driver who chooses to drive “unbuckled” using annoying chimes that make it difficult to focus on driving.

He must be actually kept from driving.

This “temporary” business will, of course, shortly become permanent – because one thing follows another. If it is right to “remind” the driver to “buckle up” then it is right to force him to “buckle up.”

And so here we are. With more to come, if this is acceded to. Firstly, because it won’t be just Buick – or Chevy. Or GM, generally – that embeds this “technology” in its cars. It will be every company that sells cars, once the “technology” has been mandated by the government – which it inexorably will on the basis of one-thing-follows-another-thing. Readers of this column already know about the pending federal mandate that future new cars be equipped with the forward-looking version of the back-up cameras that all current new cars must have.

Soon, they will have to have cameras – and more – on account of “frontovers.”

One thing following another.

Just the same as air bags – first just one – followed seat belts. Acceptance of the latter – acceptance of the principle that’s it’s ok to force everyone to buy the latter – amounting to acceptance-in-principle of the former. If the government can force you to buy seat belts, why shouldn’t it be able to force you to buy an air bag?

Then two.

Now you have to buy at least six, typically.

And if the government can force you to buy a car with seat belts, then it has already been accepted it can force you to wear them. This it has already done in many states, where it is against the law to not “buckle up.” A driver whose driving cannot be faulted, who has not in any way threatened the “safety” of other drivers, can nonetheless be “pulled over” (i.e., forced to stop by an armed agent of the government) and arrested – if he refuses to “buckle up.”

So why not use “technology” – very “advanced” – to prevent him from driving altogether, if he is seat-belt recalcitrant?

Why not for other demonstrations of recalcitrance?

No surprise – or rather, people ought not to be surprised – that is exactly what’s coming, on account of what’s already here (and already been kow-towed to). Beginning with the 2026 model year – which is only two calendar years away at this point – all new vehicles will come standard with what is being marketed to the rubes as “technology” that will prevent “impaired” driving, which most rubes, in their rubishness, take to mean people who are impaired by booze or drugs.

What it will be, in fact, is “technology” that is programmed to regard any kind of driving that falls outside the parameters of “safe” – as defined by rigid obedience to each and every traffic law and by much more than just that – as justification for more . . . parenting, by the government. Via the car industry.

A driver who accelerates – or brakes or maneuvers – “aggressively” will be presumed impaired and the car will correct him. It may pull itself over and park – to await the law.

And it all follows from accepting this business of the government forcing people to buy seat belts in new cars, which set everything that has followed in motion.

. . .

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