Sail Fawn Big Brother

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I probably won’t be able to write new car reviews come next year – or the year after. Because I probably won’t be able to drive the damn things anymore. Maybe you won’t be able to, either.

The jihad against sail fawn gabbling – and worst of all, texting – is about to bear fruit in the form of the ORIGOSafe (see here). It is a dock – an interlock – built into your car (perhaps your next new car) that will prevent the engine from being started unless you first insert your sail fawn into said dock.

For safety’s sake, of course.

“April is Distracted Driving Month,” lectures ORIGOSafe Founder Clay Skelton. “No matter how much people talk about the dangers of hand-held texting, especially among teens, driving isn’t getting any safer… .” He drones on for awhile more along the same lines before coming to the denouement: His device – installed in every new car. You can almost see the double dollar signs in his pupils.

Now, he doesn’t actually say the word. You know the word. Mandate. But where else is this headed? The concept is far too profitable to be lefty to the vagaries of the (semi) free market, to (what’s left of) consumer choice. Because – no doubt – very few consumers would freely choose to have their cars mauled with ORIGOSafe.

After all, would you?

“For only (italics added) $279″ – plus another $125 to install the filthy bugger – “you can have peace of mind knowing your driver is focused on the road, with the phone safely docked in the ORIGO,” trumpets the company web site.

Yep, “only” another $400 or so out the window – on top of the air bags ($1,500 per car according to most estimates) the back-up cameras ($200 per car) the tire pressure monitors (another hundred, maybe) all the rest of it.

But, you’ll be safer!

That’s the magic word. The word that justifies anything – cost no object. And which renders individual choice irrelevant. No, anathema.

If it’s “safe” then it’s a must do. Just what the doctor ordered.

And that’s what worries me most – the ordered part. My Spider Sense is tingling. I just know – with depressing certitude – that ORIGOSafe will tread the same path already well-worn by other safety items, once optional (failed) now “successful” (because mandatory).

Air bags, for instance. These claymores in the steering wheel would not be in every new car absent the order they be installed.

Same goes for the back-up cameras recently mandated.

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