NATIONAL MOTORISTS ASSOCIATION
HIGHWAY ROBBERY AWARD
National Motorists Association Issues First Annual Award
Advancement of Highway Robbery
- National Motorists Association members have selected the United States
Environmental Protection Agency as the recipient of their first Annual Award for
the Advancement of Highway Robbery.
- This award will be presented each year to the organization, agency,
government, business, or individual that has done the most to harass, tax,
intimidate, deceive, or otherwise abuse the motoring public. The competition was
numerous and stiff. Runner-up nominees for 1995 included the community of
Linndale, Ohio, a village of 160 souls who used a quarter-mile of Interstate
highway to bilk $400,000.00 out of passing motorists. Again, in the speed trap
category, was the triad of Florida communities, Lawtey, Waldo, and Hampton,
that also used underposted speed limits on state highways to extract hundreds of
thousands of dollars, primarily from non-residents.
- The State of Connecticut was nominated and was in the hunt for first place.
In 1995, Connecticut was given $750,000.00 by the federal government (yes, the
same federal government that can't come up with a balanced budget) to intensify
traffic enforcement over the summer holidays. And intensify enforcement they
did! The Memorial Day campaign generated a 33% increase in speeding tickets, a
22% increase in DWI arrests, and a 51% increase in seat belt tickets. The only
category that exceeded the percentage increase in traffic tickets was the
increase in traffic accidents-a 66% increase. Now there's an
example of our tax dollars at work!
- But, when it comes to costing motorists time and money, all other
challengers paled in the wake of the EPA, the winner of this year's Annual
Award for the Advancement of Highway Robbery.
- The EPA can claim credit for billions of dollars and millions of man-hours
squandered on programs and projects that have marginal to non-existent effects
on air quality. There is no expenditure too great and no regulation too onerous
to dissuade the EPA from its task of making the automobile too expensive to own,
too complicated to maintain, and too costly and too inconvenient to use.
- Topping the list of abuses is the mandated annual emissions inspections that
force millions of vehicle owners to spend time and money being processed through
expensive, intrusive, and largely ineffective centralized and decentralized
inspection systems. No one but the businesses, contractors, and bureaucracies
that run these programs realize any benefit. They don't clean the air. They
don't identify gross polluting automobiles in a timely fashion. They don't stop
tampering with emissions systems. And, they don't fix polluting cars!
- Another EPA mandate ordered thousands of private businesses to reduce the
number of miles their employees drive. Plans were to be put in place, penalties
applied to recalcitrants, and business parking lots to be monitored. Even the
sheepish east coast states balked at this mandate. Congress has since decided
that this isn't such a great idea after all.
- Acting in concert with smokestack industries, EPA devised a plan that would
allow stationary polluters, like power companies and refineries, to avoid
cleaning up their own emissions by buying and crushing older, still operational,
cars. With one pass of the regulatory wand, EPA put in motion a program that
could harm the recycling industry, increase the cost of buying and maintaining
used vehicles, and burden the collector/hobbyist community and the industry that
supports old car enthusiasts.
- Of course, the smoke stacks keep pumping out the same levels of pollutants.
Lest we forget, the EPA mandated gasolines that allegedly make people sick,
reduce mileage, and increase cost.
- The National Motorists Association believes these policies are the product
of an anti-automobile, anti-motorist, social engineering campaign designed to
restrict, reduce, and control individual mobility. The EPA and its minions view
the automobile as the cause of all that is wrong with America. To them, the car
is little more than a source of air and water contamination, the enemy of properland
use, a profligate consumer of natural resources, and the cause of death and
- No regulation is too arbitrary, too abusive, too costly, or too
authoritarian to deal with the menace of the personally owned and personally
- The award has been sent directly to Ms. Carol Browner, Secretary of the
Environmental Protection Agency. "We assume the award may be viewed in Ms.
Browner's office," said James J. Baxter, President of the National
Last updated: April 1998
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