By Paul Still
note: You can read my monthly column in Truckers Connection under "Tech Truck Stop" available at most truck stops and flying J's. If you have a suggestion for an article feel free to email me your thoughts to: email@example.com.
Nathan's phone began to buzz, the familiar glow painted the happy news that his girlfriend was thinking of him. Looking down he saw the text message; “ I love you, see you soon.”. He had just left her house, the load was past due, and he was 100 miles off route.
Streaking along at 75 mph trying to make up for lost time; his wife calls, “ I want a divorce. I know where you've been and what you've been doing...”. Dumbfounded, the phone rings again; “Nathan, bring the truck back after this run – you're fired!” Adding insult to injury, 30 days later Nathan receives a letter in the mail from Uncle Sam notifying him that his license is suspended for speeding and he has a fine of $1,000. Drained, broke, and beaten ragged; Nathan could only look to the sky and ask, “How did this happen?”.
Fiction or foretelling of the future? Though this story hasn't happened, the technology is already in place, and the legal president is simply waiting for the right congress to pass into law the ability to fine drivers for speeding even if no officer is present – and most of it comes from your cell phone.
Better be careful who pays the bill! A divorce attorney's best friend is the text message. Innocent flirtation is written proof of intent and can – and will – be used against you. Not only do they show how you feel, but also reveal where you were when you were feeling it. Since 2001, under the law, all mobile phones MUST contain a GPS chip that broadcast location for law enforcement and 911 – and anyone with a subpoena. My grandfather always said; “Words dissolve with the wind, write (or type) it and it last forever.”.
Have a company phone? That's not all you have. Those save services that allow you to track your kids by their cell phone also allow any employer to track your physical location, and how long you've been there. Don't bother calling in sick, you're boss only needs to login and see where you are and if you move from that location. (hint: You have to have your phone WITH you for this to work, they haven't micro chipped us yet.)
Stranger than fiction. Many states are bringing to congress the ideal of individual road usages tax stemming from a decrease in the amount of fuel pumped in certain states from hybrid cards, and the decline in travel due to hefty price increases. The idea being that you use it, you pay for it. A GPS tracking system would be place on all motor vehicles at the production line. After purchase your car would be associated with you and you're mailing address. The more you use the road, the more you pay – month to month of course with a discount if you bought a “pass”. Think that's much? Also, moving it's way is the “eye in the sky” monitoring. If you start to speed in restricted zones you would automatically receive a fine for the areas and period you were clocked over; if you'd like to see this at work rent from one of the two major car rental companies and take it for a spin out west. Current policies state that they DO track and WILL bill you accordingly.
Nathan's story does have a bright side though, if in the process of finding our he was divorced, fired and fine and this cause him to crash a rescue service would find him in 2 to 3 days thanks to the technology there to protect him.
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