People often think government wastes money on bad programs. But what about wasting money on a program that sounds like a good thing?
Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article about an NHTSA project to put alcohol detectors in cars, After the party, a car that takes away your keys.
The article has this juicy tidbit:
“Enthusiasm for the potential of alcohol-detection technology is reflected in a proposed federal transportation bill. In it is a measure that would give the NHTSA’s alcohol-detector program $24 million over two years—a sum that could allow the agency by 2013 to equip a fleet of 100 or more cars with prototypes of two types of alcohol detectors. One would measure the alcohol in the driver’s breath. The other would use touch technology to take a reading from the driver’s skin, likely the fingertip used to activate a starter button.”
$24 million to equip 100 cars? That’s $240,000 per car! And this is the proposal. As if government ever delivers anything on budget. For more on this waste of taxpayer money, see the DADSS website. If you read carefully, you’ll realize they’re nowhere close to putting this stuff in the field. See this February 12 DADSS pdf release, for example.