Boot vehicles with technology


The Dec. 27 editorial on the state of suspended drivers driving raises the question – what is the Sun Journal going to do about it?

Members of the Legislature are wrong if they think that higher fines or threats of jail time will keep any habitual offender from getting behind the wheel. Those people do not believe they will be caught and, actually, relatively few are. Those few we do hear about have long records.

The state needs to use the same technology used by some rental car companies, trucking companies, and even some lenders. They equip the vehicles with GPS transmitting devices that show vehicles’ position and speed. If the borrower misses a payment, the vehicle can be turned off until a payment is made.

Some new cars have voice recognition devices to unlock doors and start engines. For some years now, New Mexico has required OUI offenders to have their vehicles equipped with breathalyzer interlocks. While those devices may not be 100 percent effective, it would clearly stop more scofflaws in their tracks than the threat of larger fines or jail time. The cost could be offset by the offenders. Break the law, pay a fine, and have your vehicle technologically booted.

The media has an opportunity to look into a 21st century solution and persuade our lawmakers that threats do not work nearly as well as promises.

When getting caught becomes a near certainty, offenders will pay better attention, and we’ll all be safer.

James J. Adams, Litchfield