Re: Weasels vs. transparancy / traffic cameras (& taxes)

From: Charlie Stross (
Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 03:01:34 MDT

On Tue, May 23, 2000 at 03:14:37PM -0400, Michael S. Lorrey wrote:
> Another thing they used to talk about was how stringent the vehicle inspection
> regs were over there. Billy-Bob normally couldn't drive his pickup truck over
> there, as little things like rust were much more frowned upon over there.
Yes'n'no. You can drive a vehicle in any damn state you want, without
insurance ... if it's on private land. If you want to go on the public
highways, however, it has to be insured, pay road tax (which notionally
goes into a fund for maintaining the highways), and have a Ministry of
Transport test certificate indicating that it passed inspection.

The goal of the MoT inspection is not, as is the case in Japan, to ensure
that the vehicle matches the manufacturer's spec, but to ensure that the
vehicle is *safe*. This isn't simply for the owner, but for other road
users. Consider this a public good; do you really want to share the road
with vehicles with lousy brakes, non-operational lights, bald tyres,
and defective bodywork that might drop off? (One would suspect that in
any libertarian state with private roads, the road-owners would end up
imposing similar conditions on people using them -- or higher tolls.)

-- Charlie

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:11:37 MDT