Wyoming’s lone U.S. House representative, Rep. Harriet Hageman, joined a failed attempt to defund a federal law requiring all passenger cars sold after 2026 to have an “impaired driving prevention technology” system, commonly referred to as a “kill switch.”
The proposed amendment, introduced by Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, sought to challenge Section 24220 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The amendment, which garnered 199 Republican and two Democratic votes in favor, ultimately fell short in a 229-201 vote on Tuesday evening, with 19 Republicans and 210 Democrats opposing it.
Section 24220 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act stipulates that, by 2026, all new passenger vehicles must be equipped with systems to monitor drivers passively, detect impairment, and limit operation if necessary. Alternatively, the technology can focus on detecting a driver’s blood-alcohol concentration and shutting down the vehicle if it exceeds the legal limit.
The debate on the House floor centered on the balance between constitutional privacy rights and addressing concerns about drunk driving. Rep. Massie argued that the federal government installing a kill switch in vehicles seemed like “dystopian science fiction” and questioned the potential invasion of privacy through surveillance technologies.
New Mexico’s U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján chimed in on the “kill switch” initiative, bashing Massey on X, formerly Twitter.
“This technology doesn’t track your vehicle’s location or randomly switch off cars. It prevents people from driving drunk and saves countless lives,” claimed the New Mexico Democrat.
Massey shot back at Lujan’s post, writing, “#1 It will not act randomly.
It will trigger falsely more often than not, dangerously stranding people in cars.”
He added, “#2 This tech will need to track where the car is to know [the] speed limit, appropriate driving behavior for the location, and where the car is disabled.”
Lujan is a fervent supporter of government-tracked and “kill-switched” cars, which create the opportunity for the government to shut down one’s car. For now, Democrats claim it is only for the prevention of drunk driving, but what about another pandemic where a travel ban is enacted? This rule could be a slippery slope to even more government control of Americans’ lives.