Air Date: November 20, 2013
Host: Vic Eliason
A CNN article from June of this year describes road blocks at several points in 2 Alabama towns. For 2 days, off duty St. Claire County deputy sheriffs flagged motorists down, steering them toward federal highway safety researchers. The motorists were asked questions about drinking, drug use, and then asked for breath samples, as well as paid saliva and blood samples. These were part of a national study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In Fort Worth, Texas, drivers were stopped by a police road block where, as in the previous story, they were asked for breath, saliva and blood samples. It was part of a government research study that sought to determine the number of drunken or drug impaired drivers.
Vic also presented an NBC audio track that gave details of a road block stop where a woman was offered $10 for cheek swabs and $50 to give a blood sample.
Vic brought up a very important question: Are these drivers responding under the law or is this a commercial contracting job that allows someone posing as law enforcement to display assumed authority so they can pull you off the road?
In other related stories:
–Before the end of this year, the NHTSA will decide whether or not to begin the rule making process to mandate newly manufactured cars to be equipped with Vehicle to Vehicle technology or V2V. This is communications technology that constantly monitors and broadcasts location, the direction you’re driving, speed and possibly even the number of passengers in your car.
–A federal judge rules that the U.S. government’s Internet ‘kill switch” is not protected by laws and must be disclosed by the public.
–The nation’s police cars are to be equipped with a system for tagging vehicles they want to trace so that a fleeing car can be located via GPS.