Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 at
Borrowed from the $100 A Barrel artical by Monkeylogical.
There may be a new reason for not getting a drivers license these days & it has nothing to do with the price of gas or the environment.
It would appear as if the DMV (Department of motor vehicles) is being used by many other non-related state agencies and possibly even some private corporations to collect debt or impose hardships on its citizens. To be sure, the DMV carries a very big stick, but is it fair to use that stick on people whose debt, fine or crime had absolutely nothing to do with ones driver privileges? Some people don’t think so and that includes the DMV themselves. Please read this excerpt from THE WIRED below.
The driver’s license has become something it was never intended to be: a badge of good citizenship. Pay your bills to city and state, pay your child support, don’t get caught using drugs, and the state will let you keep on trucking. Screw up, and they’ll clip your wings. And for those who don’t get the message and stay on the roads? In most states, getting caught driving without a license, or with one that’s been suspended or revoked, means handcuffs, a trip down to the local jail, and having your car towed to the pound.
In other words, it’s serious shit.
Most businesses and state agencies have a problem with outstanding debt. Bounced checks, IOUs, stolen credit cards – it all adds up. Some organizations write off anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of their debts as “uncollectable.”
Most agencies, that is, except for the DMV. “We don’t have debt,” says Lewis, who oversees all of the Massachusetts Registry’s computer and information systems. Last year, the Massachusetts Registry collected more than US$660 million in fees and fines; less than $600,000 came back as bounced checks – a whopping 0.1 percent. “How can you afford to stiff us?” Lewis asks rhetorically. “Whatever it is you have, we’ll take it. We’ll pull your driver’s license. We’ll take your title. We just don’t have bad debt.” Lewis pauses a moment to consider his words, then shrugs, his point made: At the Massachusetts Registry, “we walk a very fine line with incredible power over people.”
Increasingly, lawmakers around the country are employing that power to enforce public policies that have nothing to do with driving or motor vehicles. Lewis and his counterparts in other states aren’t happy with the change, but there’s little they can do when legislatures hand down new rules.
“Every governmental agency is looking for every means possible to…enforce the regulations and policies in front of it,” says Barry Goleman, President of AAMVANET, a computer network run by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators that links together the computers of the United States’s 51 motor vehicle agencies. And increasingly, says Goleman, those state agencies are turning towards the DMVs as a source of data about the state’s citizens, a way of providing services, and ultimately, a means of enforcing policy.
The DMVs fit the bill perfectly. On one hand, the DMV database lists virtually every man, woman, and teenager of each state more accurately than the state’s own census or tax roles. (Even people who don’t drive usually end up getting “identification” cards, issued by the state DMVs, so they can do simple things like write a check or buy an alcoholic drink.) On the other hand, the DMV has a unique means of forcing citizens to comply with state edicts. In short, the DMV is a one-stop-shop for state agencies that want to reach out and affect our lives.
Ironically, this concentration of information, power, and responsibilities has received scant attention from traditional privacy and civil libertarian advocates. The American Civil Liberties Union, Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen, and even Robert Smith, editor of the esteemed The Privacy Journal, performed an exercise in collective buck-passing when called to comment for this article. The only group that has made any statement on the issue at all is the American Automobile Association: “Problems or violations of the law not having anything to do with the operation of a motor vehicle should not result in the loss or suspension of a driver’s license,” says AAA spokesperson Geoff Sundstrom.
Instead, it has been motor vehicle administrators themselves who have been honking the horn, warning that their agencies are becoming Big Brother incarnate. The only problem is that nobody is listening.
For the complete article click “The government is using your driver’s license to play Big Brother” then tell us how you feel about this.
I for one, had never given this much of a thought. But having lost my own drivers license for a period of time about four years ago I became very much aware of not only the hardships of getting around without a driver’s license but of the incredible bureaucracy, absolute power and lack of common sense surrounding the DMV and its regulations and requirements.
Well sometimes bad things can have good results. For me not having a driver’s license took me back to one of my favorite past times which was bicycling. From there I began to explore the world of electrically assisted bikes and I haven’t looked back since. No car, no problem. Two wheels are better than four and a whole lot cheaper. At the bottom of this page are a few quick reads that might get you thinking about the economics of writing verses driving.
And if this sparked your curiosity about E-bikes why not give me a call and come on over to the EZgo-Now E-bike shop. I have some terrific deals right now on cash and carry E-bike conversions as well as E-bike kits from the number one kit builder in the USA EBikeKit.com. CLICK HERE FOR Summer Sales.
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Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at
I’d like to answer that with a resounding yes but sadly I’ve been predicting that for the last three years and I haven’t been right yet. The reality is, most major changes don’t explode onto the scene overnight. They creep into our collective consciousness. They happen here and there, slowly and quietly in the background until that change has reached far enough and deep enough into the market place that some critical mass has been achieved. Then seemingly almost overnight everyone is suddenly aware of this new thing. Remember vinyl records? You gave them to friends and family every Christmas for almost as long as you could remember. Then one Christmas you went to your favorite record shop and found nothing but CDs.
Knowing that e-bikes will never explode onto the scene like CDs or iPods or even push the regular bicycle into second place I should have said something more conservative like; “this year will be the year that E bikes will become a legitimate choice for many people wanting inexpensive and environmentally safe transportation”. Perhaps the following year I could’ve followed up with; “this year more people than ever will be able to choose an E-bike as their choice for their short distance transportation needs”. What should I say for 2014? Well, I won’t say that 2014 will be the year of the E-bike but I will say that we are closer than ever to reaching that magic number of sales needed for E-bikes to reach some level of nation wide acceptance.
This winter I spent a great deal of time developing a business plan for expanding my electric bike shop. In the process I got to read and interpret a lot of statistical information that will directly influence how quickly people in the US will accept the E bike as “useful” transportation. Although nothing I read could be considered monumental news it was nonetheless encouraging. It provided proof positive that the E-bike has arrived in the US market and its here to stay. I thought I’d share some of that information here. So, If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing one, your unsure about spending so much money on something you know so little about, or you just want to know more about the state of transportation in the world then please read on. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 at
That is the Question.
The bicycle is the most efficient vehicle ever devised; a human on a bicycle is more efficient (in calories expended per pound and per mile) than a train, truck, airplane, boat, car, motorcycle or jet pack.
Nearly half of all trips in the US are three miles or less; more than a quarter are less than a mile, distances easily covered by bike while saving you money and getting you fit.
Every mile traveled by bike rather than by car keeps one pound of climate-damaging carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, while reducing cash draining stops at the pump.
Those are just three of the many reasons given in “Seven Wonders for a Cool Planet” by Eric Sorensen and the staff at Sightline Institute. For the rest of them click here: Sightline Institute.
In addition, anybody that has ever lived near a high school zone have no doubt been astonished by the endless parade of school buses filled with students entering the highway at 3:15 PM. This is immediately followed by a mile long line of automobiles being driven by the remaining students.
Now if you also happen to live in a college town you may have noticed the huge amount of parking space dedicated to automobiles. Take this a step further and observe the number of bicycles you don’t see parked or in use and you’ll probably see where I’m going with this.
The last straw came this spring when GM ran an automobile advertisement targeted to college students. Perhaps you remember it. “Reality Sucks” LUCKILY THE GM COLLEGE DISCOUNT DOESN’T. The thrust of the ad was that no college male should be caught dead riding his bike on campus else the girls would consider him a complete nerd. GM quickly pulled the ad but it highlighted the much bigger problem with American culture. We simply do not consider biking as a reasonable alternative to driving. It’s a mindset that has run its course and the consequences are everywhere.
We have to change our out-look towards bikes & biking. Bikes ARE NOT UN-COOL! Read the rest of this entry
Saturday, September 29th, 2012 at
Enter to Win
I was going to start this article with my personal list of reasons for riding your bicycle more often. That is until I did Google search looking for ideas and saw that everybody & their brother had already done this. Google ” top 10 reasons for riding your bike” & you’ll see what I mean. OK, so if this blog’s focus is on e bike kits I’ll write something like 7 good reasons to electrify your ride. Ditto, …. It too has been done to death. All right then, I’ll write about my thoughts about how fun, work and riding your bike relate to one another. Anyway, if you don’t think of your own reasons for doing something you probably won’t be doing that “something” for very long.
OK, lets assume that fun should be factored into everything we do. It’s no secret that if you want to stay healthy and have a productive, successful & stress free life you need to enjoy yourself. And that’s all the time, at work, at home or at play, when your alone and when your with others. No matter what, you need to be able to enjoy yourself.
Yes, we all want & need to have fun. It doesn’t matter what you call it or how you phrase it, what your mind-set is or whether you’re a type A, B, or C personality. We are all wired to crave some degree of pleasure. That said, it stands to reason that the more fun we can have while doing all the stuff necessary for living, working & staying healthy, the better off we’ll be.
Enter the bicycle. For the most part, biking is fun, regardless of what type of bike your using or your reasons for riding it. But if your bike isn’t easily accessible, isn’t set-up to do the things you need it to do, and or your riding conditions aren’t favorable, using your bike may require more effort than it’s worth. Imagine however that your bike is all ready to go and your riding is all down hill, that effort would disappear. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 at
I haven’t done much writing in the last few weeks so I started browsing the Internet for some inspiration. Perhaps something new and original like “The Revenge of the Electric Bike”. Well alas no such luck. However I am continually encouraged and intrigued by the e-bike markets on-going progress and some of the nifty new ideas I so often come across.
On the on-going progress of e-bikes side of things is the time and money some of the major players in the transportation industry are putting into developing e-bike technology. Please don’t mistake this as a belief that the future of the e-bike is in the hands of these captain’s of industry. Quite the contrary. However, it does show that the the e-bike has come a long way from that of a passing curiosity or just another recreational plaything. E-bikes are real transportation and are here to stay.
When companies like Daimler Benz, Volkswagon and Bosch dump hundreds of millions of dollars into the research and development of e-bikes and ebike drive systems we can be sure that e-bikes are more than just a passing fad. Have a look at some of these prototypes and products.
Daimler Smart E-bike
Edmunds Inside Line – Daimler Will Build Smart Ebike.
Electric Bike Shed – Bosch Electric Bike Drive System. Future of e-bikes?
Bosch Electric Bike Drive System
engadget.com - Volkswagen rolls out foldable ‘Bike’ electric bicycle concept.
Volkswagen’s electric bicycle concept
Limited by only your imagination
Auto Motto – What’s next in electric bikes
And of course there’s always the “that’s a neat idea” department. Here’s a few with merit.
gizmag.com – Student-designed bicycle device designed to save lives.
Light Lane – A laser light bike line.
Emits a laser image ahead of the rider.
New York Times – The Commuter Bike Redesigned and Electrified.
The Yike Bike
Naturally some ideas are better than others.
I New Idea Homepage
If your going green, well why not?