Annoying Progressive Insurance TV flack Flo is despised by almost everyone, including Midwestern mom Stephanie Doss. Steph is also creeped out by clowns, so we know we can trust her judgement.
Progressive Insurance is owned by billionaire insurance heir Peter Lewis, sugar daddy to many radical leftist causes, primarily Obama's presidential campaign. So we should not be surprised that the saccharine Flo wants you to install a big-brother "Snapshot" device that connects your car directly to Progressive's headquarters. The pitch is that you'll get a discount on your insurance rate. The unstated catch is that Progressive will collect a record of when and where you drive and how fast you drove to get there. Running a little late for that gun club meeting? Flo knows.
Of course, unlike health insurance, we still have a plethora of auto insurance providers fighting for our business, so its easy enough to keep Progressive out of your life. It won't be so easy when's Flo's little citizen tracker becomes mandatory in 2015. Yes, your elected representatives in Washington are planning to nationalize Flo's little pilot project.
The latest brick in the wall is the predictably named "Moving Ahead For Progress in the 21st Century Act," also known as Senate Bill 1813. (See here for the full text of the bill itself; the relevant section is 31406.) This legislation -- already passed by the Senate and likely to be passed by the House -- will impose a legal requirement that all new cars made beginning with the 2015 models be fitted with so-called Event Data Recorders (EDRs). These are the "black boxes" you may have read about that store data about how you drive -- including whether you wear a seat belt and how fast you drive -- ostensibly for purposes of post-accident investigation.
Once the snoop-o-matics are in new cars, author Eric Peters is confident your older car will be next.
In fact, sure as the rooster crows in the morning, you can bet the next step will a law requiring older cars not originally fitted with the technology be fitted with it -- or else decommissioned. It is inconceivable that they -- the government and its insurance company cronies -- will allow anyone to drive a vehicle not subject to this monitoring and control. They will insist it's not "safe" -- and of course, "unfair" that owners of older cars not equipped with EDRs are able to "get away" with "speeding" and not wearing their seat belts.
With the feds planning to to roll out EDRs in 2015, cynics might suspect that the Lewis-owned Progressive's Snapshot program is not just a coincidence.