Attention Virginia Drivers: Orwellian Surveillance of Your Driving Habits Coming Soon

In the past few days, several news sources have reported that California regulators have already begun poking their noses into the driving habits of drivers in the state in advance of the state’s 2035 ban on the sale of new gas-powered cars.

According to sources, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is gathering information about classic cars and how they are driven in preparation for potential NEW regulations on gas-powered cars (as if the state’s internal combustion engine ban wasn’t bad enough.) The stories note that CARB is gathering the information through a “survey” of owners of classic and older cars dating back to model year 1978 or earlier. The survey’s questions ask where owners park their cars, where they are driven, and even the mileage displayed on the odometers. Many car enthusiasts in the state are growing increasingly outraged about the move. California has a rich car culture history, with legendary brands, builders, and hobbyists throughout the state.

What concerns them most is that the data collected by CARB could be used to issue fines to drivers of older vehicles for violating emission limits. In fact, in 2019, CARB suggested allowing “local jurisdictions to create zero-emissions zones.” Like the Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) in London, the state could deploy automated plate readers in such zones to issue fines to violators operating older model vehicles.

Could similar measures be implemented in Virginia? Well, the Commonwealth adopted California’s emissions laws in 2021 and is expected to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in the state starting in 2035. Since lawmakers already outsourced decisions on automotive and energy policy to California two years ago, what’s to stop them from doing it again? Governor Youngkin has pledged to repeal the internal combustion engine ICE ban if he gets supporters in the legislature this November.

If you don’t want California bureaucrats snooping on your driving habits, asking where you park your car, or requesting that you kindly send them your odometer reading, vote this November. You can visit our DFA Action Center to register to vote or access your voter information.

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