Report: CA stops plans for RFID-enabled driver’s licenses [w/poll]

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Technology

California lawmakers suspended legislation to embed driver's licenses and ID cards with radio frequency identification chips.

California could have become the fifth state to issue enhanced driver’s licenses (EDL) and identification cards embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, but last Friday, state lawmakers suspended the legislation over privacy concerns. The RFID-equipped cards were to be optional, but ultimately it was a lack of measures to prevent law enforcement from tapping into the chips that killed the bill, Wired reports.

California EDLs originally were intended to be a solution to long wait times at the US-Mexico border – drivers carrying EDLs would not have to show a passport to re-enter the US at land border checkpoints where RFID readers are used. Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington are the four states that already employ EDLs, and residents of those states don’t need a passport to re-enter the US at most land borders if they have one of the special licenses.

Privacy advocates are worried that if more states start using EDLs and enhanced ID cards, they could become mandatory across the US, allowing the government to surveil the motoring public without its knowledge. Information on the RFID cards is stored in a secure database at the Department of Homeland Security. “It’s not difficult to imagine a time when the EDL programs cease to be optional,” says Jim Harper, the Cato Institute’s director of information policy studies. “The government also tends to expand programs far beyond their original purpose.”

Ben Hueso, a California senator from San Diego, supports RFID technology and offers a different viewpoint. “Enhanced Driver’s Licenses can provide a significant economic benefit to the state of California, while strengthening border security,” Hueso wrote in a press release in May, according to Wired.

We’re not sure what’s best for California regarding RFID technology, but considering how much of an impact technology like this could make on its citizens’ privacy, it’s encouraging to see lawmakers and privacy advocates treading carefully and airing concerns. Stay tuned for more on this issue – it isn’t going away any time soon.

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CA stops plans for RFID-enabled driver’s licenses [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: CA stops plans for RFID-enabled driver’s licenses [w/poll]

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Technology

California lawmakers suspended legislation to embed driver's licenses and ID cards with radio frequency identification chips.

California could have become the fifth state to issue enhanced driver’s licenses (EDL) and identification cards embedded with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips, but last Friday, state lawmakers suspended the legislation over privacy concerns. The RFID-equipped cards were to be optional, but ultimately it was a lack of measures to prevent law enforcement from tapping into the chips that killed the bill, Wired reports.

California EDLs originally were intended to be a solution to long wait times at the US-Mexico border – drivers carrying EDLs would not have to show a passport to re-enter the US at land border checkpoints where RFID readers are used. Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington are the four states that already employ EDLs, and residents of those states don’t need a passport to re-enter the US at most land borders if they have one of the special licenses.

Privacy advocates are worried that if more states start using EDLs and enhanced ID cards, they could become mandatory across the US, allowing the government to surveil the motoring public without its knowledge. Information on the RFID cards is stored in a secure database at the Department of Homeland Security. “It’s not difficult to imagine a time when the EDL programs cease to be optional,” says Jim Harper, the Cato Institute’s director of information policy studies. “The government also tends to expand programs far beyond their original purpose.”

Ben Hueso, a California senator from San Diego, supports RFID technology and offers a different viewpoint. “Enhanced Driver’s Licenses can provide a significant economic benefit to the state of California, while strengthening border security,” Hueso wrote in a press release in May, according to Wired.

We’re not sure what’s best for California regarding RFID technology, but considering how much of an impact technology like this could make on its citizens’ privacy, it’s encouraging to see lawmakers and privacy advocates treading carefully and airing concerns. Stay tuned for more on this issue – it isn’t going away any time soon.

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CA stops plans for RFID-enabled driver’s licenses [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Followup: NASCAR driver’s girlfriend fined, banned for Papis slap [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Videos

Max Papis getting slapped

According to Fox News, NASCAR has handed down an indefinite ban from all series events and a $2,500 fine to Kelly Heaphy, girlfriend of Camping World Truck Series driver Mike Skeen. Heaphy open-hand slapped her boyfriend’s rival, Max Papis, after Sunday’s race.

The incident, which we reported on yesterday Tuesday, came about after Papis and Skeen came together while battling for third position on the last lap. Papis made some statements on air that led Heaphy to pounce, delivering a slap that reportedly led to Papis claiming his jaw had been dislocated. It’s unclear if punishments were handed down to the pit crews, which rumbled ahead of Heaphy slapping Papis. If you missed it the first time, you can catch the incident on video below.

Continue reading NASCAR driver’s girlfriend fined, banned for Papis slap [w/video]

NASCAR driver’s girlfriend fined, banned for Papis slap [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Followup: NASCAR driver’s girlfriend fined, banned for Papis slap [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Videos

Max Papis getting slapped

According to Fox News, NASCAR has handed down an indefinite ban from all series events and a $2,500 fine to Kelly Heaphy, girlfriend of Camping World Truck Series driver Mike Skeen. Heaphy open-hand slapped her boyfriend’s rival, Max Papis, after Sunday’s race.

The incident, which we reported on yesterday Tuesday, came about after Papis and Skeen came together while battling for third position on the last lap. Papis made some statements on air that led Heaphy to pounce, delivering a slap that reportedly led to Papis claiming his jaw had been dislocated. It’s unclear if punishments were handed down to the pit crews, which rumbled ahead of Heaphy slapping Papis. If you missed it the first time, you can catch the incident on video below.

Continue reading NASCAR driver’s girlfriend fined, banned for Papis slap [w/video]

NASCAR driver’s girlfriend fined, banned for Papis slap [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: You might be held responsible if a driver you’re texting causes an accident [w/poll]

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety

texting while driving

There’s no question that driving and texting at the same time is dangerous and illegal. But a lawsuit in New Jersey filed by a couple who were the victims of a texting accident blamed not only the distracted driver who caused it, but also the person who was texting him at the time, CNN reports.

Kyle Best, who was 18 at the time of the accident in 2009, was driving on a rural highway when Shannon Colonna, the 17-year-old girl he was dating, sent him a text. Best allegedly was reading the text when he crossed the double-yellow line and drifted into a lane of opposing traffic. He hit David and Linda Kubert, who were riding a motorcycle. They were injured and lost their legs.

The Kuberts filed suit against Best and Colonna and argued that if she knew that Best was driving when she texted him, she also was responsible for the accident. The Kuberts ended up settling with Best and lost to Colonna, which they appealed. Apparently they left an impression on three appeals court judges who agreed with the principle behind the Kuberts’ appeal, but prosecutors couldn’t prove that Colonna knew Best was driving when she texted him, so she was free to go.

Here’s what the court reportedly said: We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.

For what it’s worth, this is the state that just rejected a vanity license plate application that read “ATHEIST.”

New Jersey governor Chris Christie disagrees with the appeals court judges who said a text sender like Colonna could be held accountable for a car accident. He says it’s the driver’s responsibility to keep his or her hands on the wheel and pay attention to what’s happening on the road. We have to agree with Christie on this one.

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You might be held responsible if a driver you’re texting causes an accident [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Dirt track driver escapes fiery wreck, finishes fifth

Filed under: Motorsports, Safety, Videos, Racing

Dirt Modified crash and fire video

Dirt Modified racer Mike Stofflet was running in a pre-feature heat at the Mahoning Valley Speedway in Pennsylvania, when things went quite wrong. It’s difficult to tell what happened exactly, but we’re guessing he made contact with another car, which sent him skittering up the track with his vehicle tipped on its side.

While that might be scary in and of itself, the part that had us cringing was the stream of fluid that wound its way down from the top of the screen – gasoline. It didn’t take much after flipping Stofflet’s car over for the gas to ignite, leaving the 27-year-old strapped into the flaming racer.

Miraculously, not only did he get out of the burning car uninjured, but after some pit-lane repairs, he was back out for the feature race, finishing fifth. Check out the scary footage below.

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Dirt track driver escapes fiery wreck, finishes fifth originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 12:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: How Porsche got Patrick Dempsey into the driver’s seat for Le Mans

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Porsche, Celebrities, Humor

Patrick Dempsey changes drivers

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. Ask Patrick Dempsey and he’ll likely tell you the same secret for landing a role on a hit TV show or, for that matter, driving a Porsche in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That’s because, like McQueen and Newman, Dempsey has earned his place in that rarified field of actors who also race. He’s competed in Baja and Grand-Am, co-owns an IndyCar team, and this year returned to Le Mans where he and his teammates Joe Foster and Patrick Long finished fourth in the GTE-Am class behind the wheel of their Porsche 911 RSR.

It’s a grueling race, and the fluid transition between drivers behind the wheel is a key element to success. Check out the satirical video below to see how Dempsey and company got ready.

Continue reading How Porsche got Patrick Dempsey into the driver’s seat for Le Mans

How Porsche got Patrick Dempsey into the driver’s seat for Le Mans originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Porsche 911 Carrera 4S named Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Performance, Videos, Porsche, Racing, Comparisons

Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Best Driver's Car video

Motor Trend has named the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S its best driver’s car for 2013. The annual
competition for the title included some of the best performance cars that have gone on sale in the past year. The new C4S follows the 2012 Best Driver’s Car award winner, a two-wheel-drive Carrera S.

Determining the winner of the coveted title isn’t easy. Each vehicle is pushed through Motor Trend‘s normal battery of instrumented tests. Editors then spend time with each car over a 500-mile tour of mixed conditions before a final batch of testing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, with pro racer Randy Pobst at the wheel.

The video below features one of the Carrera’s hot laps with Pobst at the wheel, providing commentary on just what the car is like at its limits. Also, there’s plenty of that sweet, distinctive, Porsche flat-six howl. Take a look below for the full video.

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Porsche 911 Carrera 4S named Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Would-be car thief foiled by drunk driver ignition interlock

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Technology

Herb Simpson, president and CEO of the Traffic Injury Reasearch Foundation, left, demonstates an alcohol ignition interlock device as Sen. Locke Burt, R-Ormond Beach, right and Ken Howes, spokesperson for the Florida Highway Patrol, center, watch, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2002, in Tallahassee, Fla.  Burke is sponsoring a bill that would make the device mandantory equipment in automobiles driven by persons who have had two driving under the influence convictions. (AP Photo/Phil Coale)

A drunk driver prevented the theft of a TJ Maxx in Farmington, CT on Wednesday. Okay, not exactly. The drunk driver’s car prevented the theft. According to The Hartford Courant, three men swiped $4,500 worth of ladies handbags from the department store, but didn’t get very far. Store security noticed the heist and alerted authorities, who were waiting for the pilferers outside the store.

One man, Levar Fulgham, saw the police and booked it, hopping in a nearby idling car. The only problem, though, was the ignition interlock that was installed. The interlock, which prevented the car from being shifted into gear without first blowing into a breathalizer, was installed because the car’s owner had a few too many and got busted driving drunk (shame he didn’t have a good friend to try and take his keys).

After revving the engine and realizing he couldn’t get it into drive, Fulgham abandoned the car and continued his flight on foot. Police were forced to tase the thief before they could apprehend him. Fulgham was charged with third-, fourth- and sixth-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit fourth- and sixth-degree larceny, refusal to be fingerprinted and interfering with police.

Would-be car thief foiled by drunk driver ignition interlock originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Aug 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ETC: San Jose driver arrested for racing under the influence

Filed under: Motorsports, Safety

Don't Drink and DriveRacing, by its very nature, is a dangerous activity. It requires a high degree of concentration and focus on what the car is doing, what the track is like, and 1.2 million other tiny, constantly changing variables. And while a little liquid courage might help you win with the ladies the night before, it most certainly won’t aid you on the track. In fact, it’s probably the stupidest decision we’ve ever heard of anyone making.

Which would make a 64-year-old San Jose resident, named Leslie Charles Hunter, one of the stupidest people we’ve ever heard of. Hunter was arrested on Saturday after a race at Watsonville Ocean Speedway. The charges? Suspicion of driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol content level higher than 0.08 percent, according to the Santa Cruze Sentinel.

The police were called after other racers were forced off the track by Hunter’s aggressive and reckless driving during a race. Thankfully, no one was injured by this nitwit. Watsonville Ocean Speedway is a quarter-mile dirt oval. The results of Saturday’s race haven’t been posted yet, but we looked through Watsonville’s results archive and it appears that Hunter was a regular, running as Charlie Hunter (because who wouldn’t drop the name Leslie?) and routinely finishing in the bottom half of his class.

San Jose driver arrested for racing under the influence originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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