31st July 2009

Andreas Haefele

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31st July 2009

News & Rants: Momosphere: 7.24.09, BlogHer ’09 Edition

Many members of the female blogosphere are in Chicago for the fifth-annual BlogHer conference. MotherProof.com will be there, and even I’ll be there on Friday trying to soak it all into my sleep-deprived brain. On Saturday, Kristin Varela, MotherProof.com’s chief mom, will be part of the Chevy Ride and Drive. Kristin will show you what we look for when we review a car, and then you can take a new Chevy — including a Camaro — out for a test drive in Chicago. 

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31st July 2009

Tapscott: Cash for Clunkers Will Become Permanent

When it comes to federal teat suckling, Mark Tapscott’s got the inside line. I don’t mean Edmunds and I don’t mean he does it personally; Mark knows a lot about how the beltway boys reach into the taxpayer’s trousers to play pocket pool. So, while Tapscott joins the MSM (and TTAC) in announcing the bogus Cash for Clunkers program’s pre-mature hiatus, he’s out in front re: the C.A.R.S. program’s long term fate. Mark says the bill was secretly written with permanent marker. In other words, the billion dollar (for starters) Cash for Clunker boondoggle’s a keeper. The writer gives five—count ‘em five!— reasons for car dealers to be perpetually cheerful about automotive euthanasia . . .

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31st July 2009

Daily Podcast: What Is the Chrysler Brand?

Seriously? If Alfa and Fiat are going to be added to the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep mix, something has got to give. And why not Chrysler? Maybe it’s just that every time I hear the word Chrysler, my immediate association is Sebring. Which is more than enough motivation for me to wish the brand dead. Perhaps the Chrysler name could live on as an umbrella brand (i.e., GM). As a vehicle brand though, Chrysler is toast. Or am I missing something?

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31st July 2009

US Supreme Court Threatens Speed Camera Industry

Red light camera and speed camera manufacturers fear that last month’s US Supreme Court ruling in the case Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts could create legal turmoil for the industry. The National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running issued a statement yesterday warning that the ruling has armed motorists with a greater ability to challenge the basis of automated traffic citations. Speed cameras, for example, depend heavily on legal faith in a certificate that claims to confirm the total reliability of a machine’s speed reading. In the Melendez-Diaz case, the high court ruled that merely producing such a certificate in court is insufficient. Defendants have the right to cross-examine any individual who claims to have certified evidence.

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31st July 2009

Québec & Nova Scotia Drivers: BEWARE

On April 1st, 2008 significant modifications to road safety regulations in the Canadian provinces of Québec and Nova Scotia went into effect. CTV.ca reports that handheld cellular phones are now verboten while at the wheel, though hands free devices are still tolerated. Nova Scotia will begin ticketing the offense immediately, while Québec has allowed for a three-month grace periods in which offenders will only receive stern warnings and moralizing sermons. The first offense in Nova Scotia will cost $165, while costing $80-$110 and three demerit points in Québec. Still not satisfied, road safety advocate Jean-Marie de Koeninck argues that “[h]ands-free is just as dangerous. (But) by forbidding the hand-held it does send a signal that there is a problem with the cellphone, there’s a problem with concentration”. Meanwhile, the same traffic safety bill in Québec also doubled all speeding fines , with new suspension of license provisions for those caught traveling at 40 km/h over the limit in under-60 zones, 50 km/h in 60-90 over zones, and 60 km/h over in 100+ zones. All in the name of safety, presumably.

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