Friday, July 17, 2009

This might get people off the roads

From an Associated Press story:

Researchers are looking for 1,500 drivers in six cities to test an on-board computer system that taxes motorists based on miles driven rather than fuel taxes paid at the pump.
That mileage-based tax is being considered in a $16.5 million study for the U.S. Department of Transportation to determine whether it's a viable option for paying for surface transportation, including roads and railroads, in the future.
"As vehicles become more fuel efficient, the money raised by the gas tax goes down," said said Jon Kuhl, a University of Iowa professor of electrical and computer engineering and principle investigator on the study.
And drivers of the increasingly popular electric, hydrogen and hybrid vehicles aren't paying their fair share for road use.
Under the system, a small computer is installed in a vehicle and will record miles and road use. It can also tell what state a person is driving in and can charge different tax rates based on the fuel mileage of the car being driven, Kuhl said.

Personally, I have some privacy issues with this. And it certainly would be an incentive for me to keep the car OFF the road as much as possible. (or is that the idea?)

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