Should E.U. Police Be Given Darth Vader-Like Powers to Stop Cars Remotely?

West Midlands Police \ WikimediaWest Midlands Police \ Wikimedia

An European Union (E.U.) working group is considering giving police remote car-stopping technology in an attempt to eliminate high-speed car chases. Nothing says creepy like police equipped with removed, quasi-telekinetic powers resembling Darth Vader's. 

The plan requires a “built in standard” for the E.U. car market to be implemented by the end of the decade. In other words, all new vehicles will require the installation of a complimentary car-stopping technological device.

Police will monitor videos from removed control rooms. They will have the ability to shut off a car's ignition from their disconnected headquarters.

In December, Statewatch, a non-profit watchdog group, uncovered the European Network of Law Enforcement Technology Services (ENLETS) document that describes the new plan.  The ENLETS document reads:

In most cases the police are unable to chase the criminal due to the lack of efficient means to stop the vehicle safely.

While proposed technology could potentially improve road safety and hobble runaway cars, the benefits of prevent car chases doesn't necessarily outweigh costs to car manufacturers and cuts to civil liberties. Tony Bunyan, Director of Smartwatch, told The Telegraph:

"Let's have some evidence that this is a problem, and then let's have some guidelines on how this would be used."

E.U.'s Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security (COSI) signed off on it, meaning, as The Telegraph explains, "The project has the support of senior British Home Office civil servants and police officers."

Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, called the measure "incredible" and a "draconian imposition," and issued a rallying cry for political retaliation.

It's hard to imagine an idea like this remaining under wraps. It could inspire U.S. police, who have considered a variety of controversial police-empowering tech like GPS-tracking bullets, and psychic arrests made imaginable by Big Data and NSA bulk data collection.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I find your lack of total submission disturbing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    "Those are the titties I was looking for. Turn that car around."

  • playa manhattan||

    CA Highway Patrol tried something like this a few years ago. In the name of stopping terrorism, obviously.

  • ||

    This would never, ever be abused. Never.

    I'd predict the abuse to actual use ration would be about 100:1 or even 1000:1. Maybe more.

  • Pro Libertate||

    "Yes, your honor, my car was in that accident. Nope, wasn't me. It was the cops."

  • Paul.||

    Someone must've haxxed my "complimentary" ignition shutoff.

  • Pro Libertate||

    "I was minding my own business, then my car starting chasing these chicks around at high speed. I was emotionally distressed."

  • croaker||

    Cops get this, crooks get it a week later. Carjacking without needing a gun.

  • Pinky||

    Not off topic, but somewhat tangential: Does the EU have anything like a requirement for public comment when their elites come up with ever grander ideas for oppressing their peons?

  • Agammamon||

    No. The best part - The EU parliament (all, every single one appointed, not elected) votes and then the member states *must* implement the regulations as law, without comment or change.

  • kinnath||

    As a engineer working with safety-critical systems, I can hardly imagine a more stupid and dangerous thing to do with cars.

  • Brett L||

    Now some sort of EMP device that would only target devices drawing over 150 total amps on cars... That would be genius.

  • Greg F||

    Would be easy enough to defeat.

  • ||

    Nothing says creepy like police equipped with removed, quasi-telekinetic powers resembling Darth Vader's.

    Someone spent a little too much time in the fast track line at Star Tours.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Should be called the Tulpa switch.

  • ||

    It turns off your brain?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Just try parking perpendicular with your engine shut off, punk.

  • Almanian!||

    MY BRAIN HURTS! I SHUT MY HEAD IN A CUPBOARD!!!

    /DP Gumby tulip

  • Pro Libertate||

    Wait, why stop at simply stopping the cars? Why not take control of the cars and use them to further cop goals?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Indeed, why not take cars manned by suspects and make them into manned drones? Manned in the sense that the drone car has people in it--the controls, well, they'd be in cop hands.

  • Agammamon||

    Yeah, like those bait cars - force the doors to lock and the windows won't roll down.

  • Almanian!||

    I can't wait for them to implement this for motorcycles after perfecting the technology on cars.

    You're all cranked over, nearly 60 degrees, edge of the tireNOPOWERRIGHTNOW!!!! SMASHCRASHBANGSHITFUCKOWOWOWOW!

    "Shouldn't 'a' been goin' so fast, that one...."

    What evil, twisted fucksticks, and the sheep who submit to them. It's the middle ages again! Good times!

  • Agammamon||

    I *had* to hit the cut-off on that guy. He had that whole 'display-of-speed' thing going on when he put out his knee in the turn.

  • mr simple||

    Please, the power to stop a car is insignificant next to the power of the Force.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    We're speaking of a continent where more than 2/3rds of its constituent countries require a license to own a television.

    Think about that for a second; you can only own a consumer appliance at the pleasure of the state. A fucking television license.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is why we should all be grateful for America.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Wait, what?

  • Paul.||

    Yarp. England has little trucks that drive around looking for the EMF of 'unlicensed' televisions. Not sure what they're doing with the flat screen revolution.

    Brazil was documentary.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Holy shit.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Zeb||

    Then where are all those living pipes and shit?

    I need to watch that again. It's been just long enough that I can't quite remember the plot.

  • Agammamon||

    If you have a device capable of viewing BBC programming - you must pay a license fee.

    That includes phones, tablets, and computers - though the enforcement is a little fuzzy on those since you also need another program to view the programmes.

    The TV vans are private agencies that get a bounty for getting people without licenses to pay up - and they're as honest as the local councils parking enforcement clampers (also private) and red-light camera companies here.

    Of course they try to play up the law enforcement angle, but they have no actual enforcement power and you don't have to let them in the house to 'verify' shit.

  • Zeb||

    It almost sort of made sense when the only use you could make of a TV was to watch the BBC or whatever (SLD, etc.). Then you didn't have to subsidize the government broadcaster if you didn't use it. But now it is just absurd. Even if you on;y watch commercial satellite TV you have to pay.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    This will make the inevitable remake of Vanishing Point a much, much shorter movie

  • Paul.||

    The E.U. is not as forgiving as I am...

  • Agammamon||

    But they alter the deal far more unilaterally.

  • Zeb||

    You know what's a good way to stop high speed chases? Don't start them. It takes two to have a high speed chase.

  • Agammamon||

    But, but, but, that guy who did a rolling stop at a deserted intersection at 2 am may be a wanted criminal. Worse, he could have drank ALCOHOL!

  • DaveSs||

    I could see them using this kind of system to disable every vehicle within a wide area as a means of forcibly keeping people in place when the government decides no one should be allowed to move about.

  • Agammamon||

    'You have been registered as a participant in an illegal demonstration.'

  • Agammamon||

    "The project has the support of senior British Home Office civil servants and police officers."

    Yes but these are also the arseholes advocating for stripping the citizenship from *suspected* terrorists

  • GroundTruth||

    Hell, why stop with cars? Why not require everyone to wear both a camera and a hardwired taser system so that he can be subdued at any time?

    Bets on how long it is for this one?

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