Subtitle: George Orwell was an optimist.

A Mott’s Spot cartoon by Stan Mott
Yeah, well, this is a real funny cartoon until you realize that National Highway and Safety Administration is creeping closer to requiring Black Boxes to be installed on all vehicles built in the U.S., according to this Examiner article. So much for the freedom of the open road. I don’t know why we put up with this. Reprinted by permission. Thanks, Stan.


  1. Paul N

    What do you have against automobile safety?

    Having done a little research (which it appears neither you nor the folks at the Examiner did), the “black boxes” were simply a proposal that has gone nowhere. Oh, and the proposal was for a voluntary implementation collecting extremely limited data regarding car crashes (ONLY car crashes).

    The Examiner article discusses using the data recorders for revenue collection based on mileage. This wasn’t even a formal proposal, but just an idea that was briefly mentioned in the press.

    This article in the Examiner (and the cartoon based on it) appear to me to be just more right-wing paranoid propaganda passed off as “truth”.

    I generally have enjoyed your website up to now but this garbage is insulting to the intelligence of your readers, and I hope in the future you will not put out half-baked rumor as fact.

  2. What’s the saying? “Don’t let a camel get his nose in the door.” By the way, Stan’s cartoon was done years ago. You can’t please everybody.

  3. Tony Miller

    As always, Stan’s work is hilarious. Bumper cars for the road? Bring ’em on!

  4. Jack Marchese

    Fess-up Gary.
    There is no Paul N, is there? ‘S’jus’a cheap shot at drummin’ up some circulation, ain’itt?

  5. B Warner

    Gary Smith has it right, Paul N needs an education. Give the do-gooders in Washington an inch, and they’ll take our miles. I’m old enough to remember the draconian seat belt interlock laws and the 85 MPH speedometers. Governing and government at its worst. I’m not against reasonable legislation that saves lives, but I am against the George Orwell future we face with many of our elected officials and appointed regulators. Always fear the “we’re from the government and we are here to help you” attitude. Not on my watch .

  6. Harry K

    Black boxes are in place in all cars with air bags and are already used by police AND by insurance companies to determine if you are entitled to compensation in case of an accident.
    See this article from 2003:

  7. Stan Mott

    Regarding “Paul N”, anonymous criticism is not worth a response.

    However, if Gary created him to “drum up some circulation”, as Jack Marchese suggested, let’s fire ol’ Paul N baby like a cannonball over to (shock! horror!)…,2933,132056,00.html…where he can read how event data recorders (EDRs) are saving the day.


    “Global positioning systems are being used by car rental companies to track where renters are going and how fast they are driving. GPS also allows rental car companies to shut off the engine of a car and lock a renter out of it. It’s the same technology used by OnStar, which promises to be a guardian angel for car owners who are locked out or report a vehicle stolen.”

    Big Brother opens doors and gets your car back.

    “Parents of teenagers have also begun to use black boxes marketed by Road Safety International (search) in Thousand Oaks, Calif. This item, which can be placed under the hood, is able to track the driver’s use of a seatbelt, excessive speed, hard cornering, braking and even unsafe backing, and can store hours of information for review later.”

    Big Brother saves the kids.

    “Privacy experts warn that once cars are outfitted for the most limited data recording, the government will find a way to argue it’s for drivers’ ‘own good’ to collect more. They point to a push in recent years to install GPS in all cars so that emergency officials can easily find incapacitated accident victims.”

    Big Brother helps the injured.

    “When you are telling someone it is for their own good, then it should be their own choice, they should be able to say ‘no,’ said professor Yale Kamisar of the University of Michigan Law School. ‘None of these things work out the way they are supposed to. Why should we believe all of these assurances when they haven’t been honored in the past?'”

    Big Brother does not like criticism.

  8. Amen, Stan, and Amen – chapter and verse. This is (in part) why my daily driver is a 1963 Studebaker. There is nothing on that car that tracks, records, notifies or computes. And I like it like that.

  9. Walter Gomez

    So called “safer” cars have made driving more dangerous, simply because if people feel”safe”, they will take more risk; “Oh, it has anti-lock braking, air bags, side proximity warning device!” Bring back drum brakes, no anti-locks, non-powered assisted steering, and three-on-the-tree and watch cell phone/texting communication while driving drop off, along with half the current driving population.

    Additionally, most so called “safety” equipment over the last 43 years was not forced on us by the government but rather the auto insurance companies wanting to reduce their claims, and have a bigger bottom line. Can you say Allstate Insurance which led the way for crash bumpers and air bags!

  10. Eric

    And now it’s the 21st century, and that’s what most of us are driving, without complaint.

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