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

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 07:32:29 MDT

Charlie Stross wrote:

> 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.)

Oh, clear operational problems are understood, I was under the impression they
dinged people for many merely cosmetic reasons. Surface rust has nothing to do with
operational performance, at least with cars here in the US, because salt is used so
much in the winter on the roads, unless your car is plastic you will have a tough
time not getting any rust after just a couple years.

Mike Lorrey

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