(December 19, 2022 — Austin, Texas
) Today, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom
(TURF) and Texans for Toll-free Highways
(TTH), PAC, announce the filing of House Bill 1031
authored by Rep. Bryan Slaton
(R - Royse City), to protect Texas drivers from a remote kill switch being installed in their vehicles. President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
(IIJA) mandates that all vehicles must have a remote kill switch after 2026 (Sec 2422). This technology can be activated by vehicle manufacturers and anyone who gains control of the technology, including the government.
TURF first learned of this technology in the federal bill when Applied Economics Professor Levi Russell
of the University of Kansas's Brandmeyer Center wrote about it in an article
for Real Clear Energy in May. Russell notes that repealing this mandate should be a top priority of the new congress. The implications are enormous.
“These corporations can sell you a product for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, then prevent you from using them. Worse yet, if the law is not challenged or repealed, these kill switches will have a ‘back door’ that allows government agencies to shut your vehicle off remotely as well,” warns Russell.
TURF spent time in Washington D.C. in July to alert members of congress of this little known provision, and quickly brought it to the attention of Texas lawmakers who got to work on how to protect Texans from this government overreach and potential nanny state government surveillance taking root in Texas.
“After the COVID lockdowns, there can be no question about how far government will go to exercise power over our citizens’ freedom of movement. With the push to end fossil fuels and mandate electric vehicles, the rise of government tracking of carbon emissions under the Biden administration (the new DOT rule
), and the pilot federal mileage tax, the government is closing in on forms of a social scoring system
that can be weaponized against drivers anytime the government determines you’re using too much carbon or otherwise deemed uncooperative with its edicts. Texas has to stand its ground and say ‘No’ to such surveillance state tactics. We intend to keep the Lone Star State free of such overreach,” relates Terri Hall
, Founder and Director of both TURF
Slaton concurs, ”The idea that the federal government or an international mega-corporation would have the ability to decide when, where and if private citizens can operate their own personal vehicles is not only preposterous, but it is deeply antithetical to the principals of a free country.”
TURF & TTH’s legislative priorities include ending:
- Federal mandates that effect Texans’ freedom to movement, like the federal mandate to install remote kill switches in all vehicles after 2026.
- Any form of ‘road diet’ that shrinks lane widths or road capacity.
- The expansion of toll systems – a multi-leveraging scheme that builds debt and cost to highways.
- The extension of pay-off dates for toll debt, increasing costs to taxpayers.
- The running of our public infrastructure by foreign corporations; and
- Criminal penalties (blocking vehicle registration, impounding cars) and imposing unfair fines and fees on drivers, making it even harder to pay toll bills.