Intelligent Car Lobbyist

I know this is old news, but ya gotta wonder how a car lobby would ask for Road-Use Charging. How did they get so smart while so many politicians – like some in New York, recently, seem less so?

I copy it all here to be sure it is always available...

Car lobby calls for road-use charging
Shane Wright | theage.com.au | June 17, 2007

ALL motorists should carry a GPS-type transponder in their vehicles and, instead of paying fuel taxes, they should pay for every kilometre they drive, in varying amounts depending on what time they use the road.

This is the ambitious plan of the Royal Automobile Club, which is pushing the Federal Government and the Labor Party for an overhaul of fuel taxation.
The plan, backed by motoring groups, would work in a similar way to the way in which people are charged by phone companies depending on when they make a call, over what distance and how long it lasts.

Motorists would be rewarded for driving at off-peak times or in cars that used less petrol. Instead of the various taxes imposed on fuel, people would be charged on either their use of roads or on carbon emissions.

RAC member advocacy general manager David Moir said suggestions to change the way GST was applied to petrol would deliver, at best, cuts in petrol prices of about four cents a litre.

But a shift to a user-pays system would not only allow people to control the amount of tax they paid, but also enable governments to target carbon emissions from vehicles as well as congestion in large cities.

"This isn't a short-term fix, but a longer-term plan that could address a lot of problems," he said. "It sends the right price signals to people, so you can get a benefit on congestion, you can encourage people to drive the right type of vehicle and at the right time."

The technology to monitor vehicle movements is already available, with cashless motorways in both Melbourne and Sydney relying on electronic tags. Global positioning systems would enable exact measurement of the distances travelled by motorists.

But Mr Moir conceded there could be winners and losers from the system, and some motorists could have privacy concerns. (There are ways to protect privacy -- this is a common error due to a subtle confusion beween 'positioning' and 'tracking' /ed.)

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