What Do Ankle Bracelets, Cell Phones, And Cool Cars Have In Common?

ankle tether photo

GPS-enabled ankle tether used on parolees to reduce jail overcrowding. Image credit:CG Newspapers.

California Air Resources Board (CARB) had proposed a so-called "Cool Cars" regulation mandating new vehicle windows block 33 percent more heat-producing rays from the sun by 2012 and achieve a 60% reduction by 2016. In spite of the combination of added occupant comfort and better vehicle mileage, the proposal was pure red meat for the 'keep government off our back' movement and US car makers. Now, however, the proposal has tanked for an unrelated reason: on claims that solar gain-reducing window coatings might interfere with cell phone transmission and also could block the ankle bracelets or 'tethers' used to track parolees. (The tether has a GPS unit built in which links to a cellular network.)

Coal mine collapses won't be tolerated but thousands of cell phone triggered crashes per month are fine. You could probably turn a car's radio antennae into a signal repeater for less than it costs to house a prisoner for one day, but saying 'no' is just so much more fun. Pathetic.From Environmental Leader:

CARB had estimated that, once fully implemented, the rules would have meant cutting 700,000 metric tons of emissions a year by 2020. CARB said that was the same as taking 140,000 cars off the road.

Automakers, including Ford and Toyota, had sought to delay the regulation, which would have added up to $250 to the cost of each vehicle.

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