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"The Relay" Online Newsletter
November 2020 Issue

This is the monthly online newsletter for the car club council. All car hobbyist events are listed on this site under "Calendar." Just click on the link above to view the list of car shows and other activities.

President's Message

It's November and time to start thinking about next year. This month you can send in events for 2021 to be posted in the online calendar. Cruise-ins usually get posted in February because they start in April. Keep in mind that there are a couple of cruise-ins that run all year weather permitting. I will save any submitted cruises and post them in February. Getting in your event early means that if there are multiple events on the same date I post in order they are received so if your event is the first in it is posted first for that date.

At our October meeting the council delegates voted unanimously to sponsor a second show at Pamplin Park: 2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show and 26th Anniversary of the CCCCVA. In January I will present a budget listing the amount of money we will need to sponsor the event. The show committee met a few days after the September 26th show and reviewed many suggestions to improve the event. All of these were discussed and recorded and we will implement these into the next show. The date for the show is Saturday May 15. It will be posted in the calendar and in January the show committee will meet, make several decisions and we will create a flyer and website for the show.

The 1st Annual Breakthrough Show and 25th Anniversary of the CCCCVA was a success on many fronts despite the rain. We had 109 registered vehicles and over 500 people at the event. I spoke will all four of the food vendors and all were very happy. The management of Pamplin Park was very happy with the event. The Park made several thousand dollars from the event. Everyone who attended was happy except a couple of people who got stuck in the mud. I've heard from many people that they believe the show would have had double the registrations and spectators had it not rained from about 7 to nearly 11 that day. Plan to attend the second show on May 15.

I write this before the November 3rd election date so the results of the election are unknown. The result of the election will definitely determine the direction we take on many of the auto-related issues we face. The General Assembly will meet in January and I've already heard some bills are going to be introduced that could affect the car hobby. As always the council will monitor legislation and keep your informed. And finally Happy Turkey Day!

~ Fred

Varina Ruritan Club Thanks You

The Varina Ruritan Club would like to thank all that attended our November 7th event. A special thank you to the 58 car owners that came and supported us. We have posted pictures on our Facebook page, so please go visit and enjoy the day again.

Marilyn Monroe hunting a turkey

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be Monday, January 25th at 6:30 PM at a location to be announced in the January newsletter. We will discuss bills introduced in the General Assembly, discuss the 26th anniversary car show, and more.

Car Hobbyist News

The special session of the General Assembly is over. It lasted almost two months. The session was called to deal with budget issues caused by the virus/lockdown and police reform. There were four auto-related bills of interest to hobbyists. One passed while the other three were left in committee.

HB 5001 “Motor Vehicles, Department of; customer service centers hours of operation” would have opened up the DMVs was left in committee. HB 5004 “Driver's licenses; discretionary requirement to conduct ceremony when issuing to person under 18” was left in committee. SB 5011 “Motor vehicle safety inspection program; abolishing state program, etc” was also left in committee.

SB 5029 “Marijuana and certain traffic infractions; possession, issuing citations” was amended and has passed both houses. The measures outlined in this bill will go into effect March 1. This law makes it clear that police cannot “stop, search, or seize any person, place, or thing solely on the basis of the odor of marijuana.” Police have used the “I smell marijuana or alcohol” to search vehicles. This law ends that practice but it does so much more. Under this law police cannot stop someone for defective and unsafe equipment, taillights out, brakes lights out, not having lights on, loud exhaust, tinted windows, objects blocking view, not wearing seat belts, expired registration or inspection stickers until four months after the date of expiration. It’s easy to see this could cause problems. If a police officer sees someone driving down the interstate at night with no lights on the officer cannot stop that vehicle but Northam did amend the bill to clarify that law enforcement can stop someone for driving at night with both headlights or brake lights out – why didn’t the members of the General Assembly do that? The reason for these measures is the lawmakers believe police use lights out, brake lights not working, objects hanging from a rear view mirror, expired stickers and more to stop and hassle minorities.

Another bill that passed and the governor signed into law is House Bill 5098 increases the penalty for falsely summoning or giving false reports to law enforcement officers due to an individual’s race, religious conviction, gender, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, or national origin - recall that a law went into effect in July that requires people stopped by the police to answer those personal questions. The law is called "The Community Policing Act".

I’ve already heard that the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) will be introduced into the next General Assembly session which begins in January. The TCI website says “TCI states are working together to develop a regional low-carbon transportation policy”. Let me translate that for you – gasoline and diesel fuel taxes will be increased until there is a reduction in greenhouse gases. Virginia is one of 12 states that want to try this approach to climate change. The Assembly in Massachusetts – a high tax state – rejected TCI. Our state leadership wants to increase gasoline prices via tax increases until you buy that electric car.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an order that aims to end the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered passenger cars in the state by 2035. Newsom said in a statement that the widespread adoption of zero-emission vehicles would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to combat climate change. Now the UN has stated it wants electric cars on the roads by 2050. The UN is looking at the USA having 90% electric vehicles by that year. If you have been wondering like I have why automakers are going to hybrids and electrics it’s because governments are forcing the issue. They are using climate change to increase taxes and control us.

Electric vehicles have a couple of major problems: cost and range. I have seen proposals to give lower income people money to help them purchase electrics. This money will come from your taxes. Range is still a problem and will be a problem. The laws of physics make creating a battery that charges in just a few minutes and lasts hundreds of miles impossible. But then people who can’t move about very much are easier to control. And yes, the day will come when they (the government) come to take you gasoline and diesel vehicles – it’s for your own good.

Message From Pamplin Park

Dear Car Club Council of Central Virginia,

The staff and foundation express their deep appreciation for your organization partnering with Pamplin Historical Park on the first 2020 Breakthrough Car Show. Despite inclement weather on the day of the show, there were still over 100 show vehicles registered and around 600 hundred spectators who braved the rain to see decades of automotive history. Your support helped to make this show possible and we jointly share in its success. Fred Fann, Ron Clark and Herbert Hudson are deserving of special recognition for donating their personal time while serving on the event committee. We also thank all of the collector car owners and vehicle enthusiasts for their participation and support. Without them this event would not have been possible.

Revenues from this event will allow us to continue the park’s educational efforts in reaching thousands of school age children from across the country each year. Additionally, this support preserves the historic Breakthrough Battlefield for future generations, while allowing us to share our rich national heritage.

We believe this partnership has been mutually beneficial in raising regional community awareness to both Pamplin Historical Park and the Car Club Council of Central Virginia. At a time when America’s youths are less interested in history and obtaining their own driver’s license, this event could not be timelier. This event offers the opportunity to educate the public about our nation’s history and the enjoyment and preservation efforts within the collector car hobby. Our desire is to make this event an annual one and we hope that the CCCCV will continue to partner with us in this endeavor. Thank you all again for your support and we wish you happy and safe motoring.

Very Respectfully,

Colin Romanick
Director of Marketing & Development

9th Annual Biggest Little Car Show in Victoria and NSRA Appreciation/Safety Day - click to see all the photos

Virginia Lawmakers Pass Bill Limiting Pretextual Traffic Stops

From Virginia Mercury:
Legislation banning police from initiating searches based on the smell of marijuana and making traffic stops for an array of minor infractions is heading to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk after clearing the General Assembly on Friday (October 2).

The bill is among the first in a wide-ranging package of police reforms to win final passage in the House and Senate during a special legislative session that began in August.

“A disproportionate number of people pulled over for minor traffic offenses tend to be people of color, this is a contributor to the higher incarceration rate among minorities,” said Del. Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, who carried the bill in the House. Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, carried the legislation in the Senate.

If signed by Northam, the laws would prohibit police from making traffic stops when they see vehicles with non-functioning brake and tail lights, a broken or loud exhaust system, tinted windows, objects dangling from a rearview mirror, someone smoking in a car with a minor present or a state inspection that is less than four months past its expiration date.

The violations remain on the books, but police could only issue citations if a driver is stopped for a more serious infraction, such as speeding or reckless driving. The legislation also reduces jaywalking to a secondary offense.

Lawmakers argued police often use the violations as a pretext to stop and search people they suspect of other crimes, enabling racial profiling.

The law also bars police from searching people or their vehicles when they say they smell marijuana — a practice that has been the subject of long-running complaints among public defenders and defense lawyers both in Virginia and around the country. Last year, a New York judge grew so fed up with hearing the justification in court that she openly accused police of lying, writing in an opinion that “the time has come to reject the canard of marijuana emanating from nearly every vehicle subject to a traffic stop.”

The legislation cleared both chambers over strong opposition from Republican lawmakers, who have called the Democrats’ police reform agenda an affront to the law enforcement community. “I feel we’re villainizing our police departments,” said Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-Virginia Beach.

Meanwhile police have argued the bill will make roads more dangerous and hamper their investigations.

“Does anybody really think that it’s appropriate or safe for a vehicle on Interstate 95 to be travelling without tail lights at 11 at night?” Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall said last month. “Does anybody not think that law enforcement should deal with that situation?”

On Friday, lawmakers also gave final passage to legislation that would allow the attorney general’s office to open investigations into police departments that engage in discriminatory practices. The bill was filed by Lucas, who had unsuccessfully attempted to get the Department of Justice to investigate the Portsmouth Police Department’s hiring practices. She argued that because the DOJ under Trump has not pursued such pattern and practice investigations, the state should step in to fill the investigatory gap.

The day before the legislative session began, Portsmouth police filed criminal charges against Lucas alleging she conspired to damage a Confederate statue, though she has not publicly suggested she believes the decision was linked to her proposed legislation.

Front License Plate Retractor

TeGo Automotive Products has come up with a patented front license plate retractor. You do not have to drill any holes in your front bumper cover. The patented system installs under the front of the vehicle and you can use an app on your smart phone to move the plate. Check the video above. Price for the license plate retractor is about $350. Website is tegoautoproducts.com

Moody's Texaco Cruise-In
Red Corvette at Moody's Texaco Cruise-In

The Briefs

Virginia: Richmond
Vehicle theft rate, Richmond (2018): 508 per 100,000 residents
Vehicle theft rate, Virginia (2018): 127 per 100,000 residents
Total vehicles stolen, Richmond (2018): 1,168
Total vehicles stolen, Virginia (2018): 10,778
Property crime rate, Richmond (2018): 3,830 per 100,000 residents
Property crime rate, Virginia (2018): 1,666 per 100,000 residents
Most stolen vehicle, Virginia (2018): Honda Accord

Calling himself "Britain's dullest man," Kevin Beresford, 68, of Redditch, is the founder of the Roundabout Appreciation Society and has traveled all over the country for the past 17 years, searching for the best traffic circles, which he memorializes in calendars with photos of his favorites. His hobby began when he ran a printing company that created calendars for clients every year, he told BirminghamLive, and they jokingly created a roundabout calendar. Since then, this self-described "Lord of the Rings" has expanded his interests to include phone boxes of Wales and Birmingham's No. 11 Outer Circle bus route. His latest focus has been on car parks. "I started the Car Park Appreciation Society 10 years ago, but nobody has joined," he said. "It's a bit sad."

Hyundai is working on a concept called Ultimate Mobility Vehicles (UMVs), a sort of walking car/vehicle/contraption that can go where traditional vehicles cannot. The company has formed a group called the New Horizons Studio to work on the UMVs, including a concept called the Hyundai Elevate. These vehicles look like walking pods, with wheels at the end of each of four “legs.” The idea is that they could be used to traverse extremely difficult terrain or assist disabled people with mobility. Imagine a scenario where these vehicles help first responders rescue hikers stranded in a canyon/crevasse, or maybe these things can assist firefighting crews as they battle wildfires.

On Friday night about 7:55 pm residents near Arroyo Park on Marmion Way in South Pasadena reported hearing a loud “crashing thud” sound outside. The strange noise was made by a tree falling on a moving car in traffic on the Los Angeles side of the Arroyo Seco Park. The driver was shaken up, but did not report any injuries at the time. He was able to escape from his car before fire & rescue arrived.

Aman in Charlotte, North Carolina drives a Tesla but not an ordinary one - this one is a tribute to Dale Earnhardt’s No. 3 GM Goodwrench car. Jalopnik wrote a story about his car: “How A NASCAR Fan Got Sponsors To Buy Him A Tesla Model 3 With A Dale Earnhardt Tribute.” The story describes how Sinnott, who founded the company Strange Gaming, partially created the NASCAR-Tesla tribute to “bridge those two audiences”—and actually sold regions of the car to sponsors and paid for it that way. Logos for Bojangles, U.S. National Whitewater Center, Cook Out, and others appear on the car.

Home Depot is selling an inflatable Ghostbusters car with trick or treat on it for Halloween. Cost is about $200.

Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to use ocean and landfill plastic waste in its next generation of models. The interiors of Jaguar Land Rover vehicles going forward will utilise an innovative material called ECONYL nylon. Jaguar and Land Rover models will feature floor mats and trims made with ECONYL fibre from recycled industrial plastic, fabric offcuts from clothing manufacturers, fishing nets from the farming industry, and those abandoned in the ocean– known as ‘ghost nets’. The Coventry car maker’s commitment to designing sustainable luxury interiors using responsibly sourced and recycled materials forms part of its Destination Zero mission. The aim is to make environments safer and cleaner while offering customers a premium, sustainable option. The ECONYL regenerated nylon has been created by Aquafil - a global pace-setter in the synthetic fibres industry.

After receiving complaints from residents, officers from the Swadlincote Police Safer Neighbourhood Team carried out speed checks with speed guns clocking cars in Woodlands Road, Stanton, yesterday, Sunday, October 5. But while there they only caught a 'low' number of people speeding but said they saw a lot of happy drivers who gave them a wave or thumbs up. It was found that drivers who had been heading in the opposite direction had been warning other motorists about the police operation, even unknowingly flashing the unmarked police car. They will be receiving fines in the post for obstruction, a spokesman said. Although the drivers who were warned of the checks will be pleased, those who flashed lights and warned others now face being fined for obstructing the police, said a police spokesman.

A man shared the photo evidence of an incident on content-sharing site Reddit. The man revealed he had been photographed twice by Google Maps Street View in two different states on the same day. One of the images shows him, wearing white shorts and a blue T-shirt, standing in a parking lot in New York between a black car and a red car. In the second, he is again in a parking lot, but this time in Connecticut. He is next to a blue car - his arms raised in jubilation, perhaps at the second Google sighting. “In October 2017, I got spotted by the Google Maps Street View Car not once but twice in two different states,” the man captioned the photo.

25 strange car names from Automobile Magazine: Tata Buzzard, Honda That's, Ford Probe, Daihatsu Applause, Kia Bongo III, Mitsubishi Toppo BJ, Suzuki Celerio, Daihatsu Naked, Perodua Kancil, Kia K9, Effa Ideal II, Suzuki Esteem, Nissan Fuga, SsangYong Tivoli, Edsel, Dodge Ram, Toyota Vellfire, Huanghai Landscape F1, BYD Song Max, Hummer, Nissan DAYZ ROOX, Troller Pantanal, Volkswagen Gol, Kia Granbird Silkroad and Hyundai Xcient.

Honda officially announced it will no longer supply power units (engines) to Formula 1 teams after the 2021 season. Formula 1 is incredibly expensive, and all the money Honda dumps into F1 research and development can no doubt be funneled into research and development for its passenger-car business. In its announcement, Honda said "the automobile industry undergoes a once-in-one-hundred-years period of great transformation," and notes the company's commitment to going carbon-neutral by 2050 was the main reason behind the decision to leave the sport. In other words, Honda is so all-in on developing non-gasoline powertrains, it concluded that the tens of millions of dollars it spends annually on F1 can be put to better use in pursuit of this goal

Investigators with the Redding California Police Department have been looking into multiple reports of vehicle windows supposedly marked with letters and numbers such as "2F" or "1F1B." Facebook posts alerting others suggests the markings are codes for possible sex trafficking. "2F" meaning two females and "1F1B" meaning one female and one boy/child. Redding Police Sergeant Danny Semtak agreed the markings are strange. However, he went on to say there have been no reports of anyone assaulting, kidnapped, hurt, or anything in that nature following the writing on their windows.

An 11-year-old boy in Louisiana is facing multiple charges after allegedly stealing a school bus and taking it for a joyride. Police in Baton Rouge, La. allege the preteen saw the bus at an early childhood education centre, figured out how to turn it on and began driving. Video from the incident on Sunday shows a school bus being chased by several police vehicles. The chase lasted about half an hour before the bus crashed into a gas line and a tree in a woman’s front yard, causing severe damage to the bus. "Thank goodness he was okay,” Libby Smith, owner of the property where bus crashed, told CNN. “He was safe, but it was not your typical Sunday afternoon occurrence for sure, so we're blessed in that it didn't do any more damage than it did." While there were no injuries reported, the boy has been charged with theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated flight, three counts of aggravated damage to property and aggravated assault, according to the local news station WAFB.

Tesla began making cars in China about a year ago to bolster its presence in the world's largest auto market. Now the country is becoming an even more critical part of its global strategy. The electric automaker will soon start exporting Chinese-made Model 3s to markets including Germany, Italy and Switzerland, Chinese state-run news outlet Xinhua reported.

The China State Administration for Market Regulation announced that Tesla is recalling nearly 50,000 of its Model S and Model X electric vehicles. The recall concerns potentially faulty and unsafe front and rear suspensions. The vehicles were made by Tesla in the U.S. and exported to China. The U.S. vehicle safety authority, NHTSA, has not said whether a similar recall in the U.S. may be necessary.

GMC introduces the Hummer EV edition 1 with 1000 electric horsepower. The Edition 1 will use three separate motors and two Ultium drive units to deliver the 1000 hp output and 350+ miles of range on a full charge. With 800-volt DC quick-charging, 100 miles of range can be added in about 10 minutes. The 2022 Hummer EV will cost $112,595.

It's not just the airlines and the cruise ships that are suffering. The American Bus Association estimates private buses provide 600 million passenger trips a year, second only to commercial flights. Pantuso said 80,000 of the industry’s 100,000 employees have been furloughed this year. The American Bus Association said the industry usually sees $15 billion in revenue a year. In 2020, bus companies only brought in $4 billion. The motorcoach industry, along with the school bus industry and passenger water vessel companies are now collectively asking Congress to approve $10 billion in loans and grants.

Moody's Texaco Cruise-In
Custom Camaro

Every Car Will Have to be Electric by 2050, Says the UN

From Daily Mail
First California says no gasoline of diesel vehicles for sale after 2035 and now this. Yes, they are coming for your car/truck/motorcycle. People who cannot move around freely are much easier to control ~ Fred

Almost all cars on the road will have to be electric by 2050 if the world is going to meet UN climate change targets, experts claim.

Engineers from the University of Toronto created a computer model to estimate how many electric vehicles would be required in a heavily car dependent country.

The team focused on the US, as currently only 0.3 per cent of vehicles are electric and it is a wealthy nation with a high overall rate of car ownership per capita.

To meet UN climate targets, about 90 per cent of passenger vehicles in the US would need to be electric by 2050 – something the Canadian team say is ‘unrealistic’.

Instead, the team suggests countries focus on a massive investment (that is an understatement ~ Fred) in public transport and redesigning cities to allow for more trips by bicycle or foot.

UN climate targets require member countries to take action to prevent average global temperatures from rising more than 3.6°F above pre-industrial levels by 2100. (3.6 degrees? Why doesn't the earth just explode when the temperature goes up 30 degrees in just a few hours ~ Fred)

There are more than seven million electric vehicles (EV) in operation around the world, compared with only about 20,000 a decade ago, the Toronto team said.

While this is a massive change, it won’t be ‘nearly enough to address the global climate crisis’ on its own, they explained.

Lead author Alexandre Milovanoff, a PhD student at the University of Toronto, said people think a larger-scale shift to electric vehicles will solve climate problems.

‘I think a better way to look at it is this: EVs are necessary, but on their own, they are not sufficient,’ the study author explained.

Published in the journal Nature Climate Change, the team found the US would need to have about 350 million electric vehicles on the road by 2050, or 90 percent.

Make Your Choice - souless no fun electric on the left or beautiful and inspiring.on the right

General Assembly August September October Special Session

The governor called a special session of the General Assembly on August 18 - and it finally recessed (not adjorned) on October 16. Below are auto related bills of interest:

HB 5001 Motor Vehicles, Department of; customer service centers hours of operation: Requires all Department of Motor Vehicles customer service centers to be open and accept walk-in customers six days a week between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. This requirement expires upon the expiration or revocation of all states of emergency declared by the Governor related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Bill info is at this link HB 5001. This bill was left in committee.

HB 5004 Driver's licenses; discretionary requirement to conduct ceremony when issuing to person under 18: Makes discretionary the requirement to conduct a formal, appropriate ceremony when issuing original driver's licenses to persons under the age of 18. Bill info is at this link HB 5004. This bill was left in committee.

SB 5011 Motor vehicle safety inspection program; abolishing state program, etc: Abolishes the state motor vehicle safety inspection program. Full text is at this link SB 5011. This bill was left in committee.

SB 5029 Marijuana and certain traffic infractions; possession, issuing citations:Changes from primary offenses to secondary offenses the possession of marijuana and the traffic infractions of operating a motor vehicle (i) without a light illuminating a license plate, (ii) without an exhaust system that prevents excessive or unusual levels of noise, (iii) with certain sun-shading materials and tinting films, and (iv) with certain objects suspended in the vehicle. A secondary offense is one for which a summons can only be issued if the offender is stopped for another, separate offense. The bill also provides that no law-enforcement officer may lawfully search or seize any person, place, or thing solely on the basis of the odor of marijuana, and no evidence discovered or obtained as a result of such unlawful search or seizure shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding. Bill info is at this link SB5029. Governor Northam has amended this to allow police to stop vehicles at night with no lights. Bill has been signed into law.

House Bill 5098 increases the penalty for falsely summoning or giving false reports to law enforcement officers due to an individual’s race, religious conviction, gender, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, color, or national origin. This bill has been signed into law and deals with the Community Policing Act.

You may view all of the bills introduced in the special session: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?202+lst+ALL.

Moody's Texaco Cruise-In
1967 Camaro

Moody's Texaco Cruise-In
1937 Chevy Pickup

Transportation and Climate Initiative

By Steven Haner - Stephen D. Haner is Senior Fellow for State and Local Tax Policy for the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.
10/7/2020 -- Having imposed a carbon tax on Virginia electricity generation in 2020, the General Assembly starting in January 2021 will consider adding a similar tax on every gallon of gasoline and diesel sold for vehicle use. The Transportation and Climate Initiative, an environmentalist dream for a decade, is finally ready for its close up.

Advocates in the 12-state region that would make up the proposed interstate compact held two webinars in September, one focused on additional modeling on the project and the other discussing all the racially- and environmentally-just ways they believe states can spend the billions in new taxes.

The new modeling results did not change the basics of the program. TCI is a cap, tax and trade system that imposes a dollars-per-ton cost on the carbon dioxide emissions released by burning the fuels. The tax rate is set by an interstate auction, and the tax itself is imposed on the fuel wholesalers. The amount of fossil fuel emission credits that wholesalers may bid for will be capped and then will shrink a certain percentage every year.

The advocates have still not released a new memorandum of understanding, which Virginia would need to agree to. During the 2020 General Assembly, members of Governor Ralph Northam’s administration stated the issue would be brought before the full General Assembly and he would not simply sign the

Once approved, the details of implementation would need to be worked out in a regulatory process imposing the supply cap and tax mechanism on all wholesalers serving the Virginia markets. Maryland will be the only adjoining state in the compact, creating additional pressure on the fuel industry along most of Virginia’s borders.

That still-hidden-in-the-weeds MOU will be crucial because it will set the reduction targets. The higher the targets, the higher will be the carbon tax and the steeper will be the slope on the reduced amounts of fuel for sale. The new models still project that a 20% reduction over a decade will start with a tax of 5 cents per gallon, while a 25% reduction will start with 17 cents per gallon and climb from there.

The final MOU is expected to include mechanisms to decrease the amount of emissions available slightly if auction prices drop too or increase them if they spike quickly. But there will still be a steady decrease in the number of gallons available for sale throughout the region, a form of rationing.

Governor Ralph Northam was just branded with a grade of “F” by the Cato Institute in part for raising gasoline taxes ten cents per gallon in some parts of Virginia and almost 18 cents per gallon in other parts of the state. That will put the state gas tax around 34 cents per gallon by July 2021.

With TCI carbon taxes added on, Virginia’s fuel taxes may be exceed 50 cents per gallon by next summer. Legislators seeking their own re-election, or seeking a statewide office, may need to explain why some parts of Virginia saw fuel taxes triple in two years.

The increases imposed this summer and fall have been all but invisible, with fuel prices down in the recession. A year from now could be different, the economy and fuel prices up, and another fuel tax hike then might be quite apparent to voters and business owners.

And to accomplish what? The new TCI modeling shows what the old version did: With no action whatsoever, market forces are already driving down emissions in the transportation sector. Old vehicles are being replaced by new, more efficient models, and electric vehicles are growing in popularity. By 2030 vehicle-related emissions could drop 19% or even more, without any caps or carbon tax.

Against that backdrop, the TCI goal is really to add only one to 6 additional percentage points of reduction in CO2 emissions. To claim substantial environmental or even health-related benefits from that is a stretch. The Thomas Jefferson Institute’s David Schnare, Ph.D., dismantled the earlier environmental and health benefit claims in a 2019 review, still valid apparently.

One of Schnare’s criticisms is the money being raised by the TCI carbon tax is not going to transportation infrastructure, while the declining cap on fuel sales will reduce the traditional sources of revenue for road construction and maintenance funds. The TCI organizers want to use the new tax revenues to subsidize electric cars and trucks, mass transit and non-vehicle travel (bike and pedestrian options.) their models depend on assumptions that doing that will reduce fuel sales.

One of the TCI sales pitches will be promising to focus the financial aid on lower income communities. A major topic of that webinar’s discussion was the premise that urban and low-income citizens have been overburdened by traditional energy development and related pollution. At the webinar, Chris Bast of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality touted the 2020 Virginia Environmental Justice Act and Northam’s creation of a cabinet-level Chief Diversity Officer.

Programs outlined in other states included subsidies for electric cars and buses, building out EV charging stations, residential development on transit lines and for home energy efficiency projects. The General Assembly debate could quickly devolve into a sticky contest between drivers who would pay the higher taxes or feel the pinch from a supply cap -- heavily business, suburban and rural -- and those who believe they will benefit from the new taxes, mostly urban.

Repair Mistakes & Blunders

From Rock Auto
In high school I had a ’69 Dodge Dart which needed rear brakes. Though not being entirely sure how to tackle the job, I went at it with all the zeal of a teen with car dreams.

The first order of business was to remove the rear tire. As I recall, I started on the driver’s side first, using the Mopar provided tire iron. Struggle, grunt and strain; as much as I tried to loosen the lug nuts, I could NOT get them loose. Eventually, I liberally applied a popular spray on stuck-nut solvent. With a LOT of effort, I finally got the first lug nut to begin to turn. However, just as soon as it began to turn, I noticed the wheel lug stud itself was breaking in the process. I could not believe how stuck on these nuts were! I moved on to the second, which was just as stuck. Again, with a considerable amount of effort, it began to turn, only to break that lug off as well. Same with the third and then the fourth. Stepping back, looking over the situation and considering how I was ever going to fix this dilemma, I began to wonder, “Was it possible the nuts could be reverse thread?”, a concept that up to that point I had never heard of.

Sure enough, with just a bit of effort (which is all I had left at that point!), the fifth and final lug nut easily spun free, lug fully intact. Later, someone told me that Mopar made the driver’s side wheel lug nut and stud threads reverse (left hand) thread so that “the wheel tended to want to tighten the lug nuts as it rolled down the road” to prevent it from inadvertently coming loose. After installing four new lugs, and completing the brake job, I was back on the road.

Lesson Learned: at the first hint something does not seem entirely right, it is probably time to stop and seek out more seasoned help.

Larry in Maryland

Moody's Texaco Cruise-In
Moody's Texaco

Important DMV Info

From www.dmv.virginia.gov/general/#covid19.asp
DMV offices have opened for specific services by appointment only as part of a phased reopening plan. Please visit dmvnow.com/reopening for more information.

How the Appointment System Works
Three months of appointment slots are available at any time on the calendar. Each day, a new day of appointments is added to the end of the available 90-day period.

New appointment slots will be posted multiple times every hour. Cancellations can also create earlier availability in the calendar. If you do not see availability, all the posted appointment slots are currently booked.

Scheduling through the website is the most direct route to obtain an appointment. While our DMV Direct call center agents are able to schedule appointments, they also use this website and will see the same availability that you see. Our representatives do not have the ability to create new appointments outside of what is available on the calendar.

We encourage you to check back regularly for updated availability and newly opened locations. DMV is working hard to equip and safely reopen offices as quickly as possible.

CAUTION!!! - if you mail anything to DMV be sure to keep a couple of copies of everything! DMV will lose your stuff! Keep copies!!!

DMV Tips

  • DMV has a 90 day window on appointments but there may be cancellations. Be sure to check every day and you may be able to get an appointment sooner.
  • Some cities, towns and counties have satellite DMV offices with limited services. These are walk-ins so you might be able to find one near you. Call ahead and check to see if a satellite office is open and can handle your transaction.
  • Some dealerships can handle title and license plates if you purchase a vehicle from them. Usually they have a limited choice of plates but you can always go online later and get a set plates that you want.

Moody's Texaco Cruise-In
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Virginia Hands Free Law Enforcement Begins January 1, 2021

From WWBT:
On Jan. 1, 2021, the hands-free law will go into effect statewide. This law, HB874/SB160, allows drivers to be fined for holding a handheld personal communications device while driving.

“Focused drivers save lives,” said Martha Meade, AAA Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “There is no text message worth reading or sending when injuring or killing someone is the potential cost.”

In 2019, Virginia saw 120 deaths in 23,246 distracted driving crashes according to data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

“Taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your risk for a crash,” said AAA spokesman Morgan Dean. “Let’s be honest, most people are looking at the phone or that distraction for more than two seconds.”

Kicking off National Distracted Driving Awareness month, AAA is renewing its push about this hands free law which will be enforced statewide come January 1. However, the law technically went into effect July 1 of this year.

“This is the six-month period, so some people get used to the idea of enforcement for this,” Dean said.

In December, the Richmond City Council passed its own hands-free law, which went into effect in June.

Since July, one ticket has been written, but an RPD spokeswoman said many warnings have been issued.

“The approach in these first few months has been more focused on education, instead of enforcement,” she added.

However, for some drivers that point still is not getting across.

“I think we all have the examples of when we’re on the roads,” Dean said. “We see a car start to weave back and forth, you’re very concerned and when you go to pass that vehicle to make sure everything is okay, what do you see? It is somebody picking that phone up, they’re trying to do something with it, looking back and forth. We do not want to see that on the roadway.”

Under this law, if you are caught holding your cell phone, you could face a stiff fine.

“$125 fine for the first offense and it’s $250 for every offense after that,” Dean said.

However, advocates said, this hands-free law is not a concrete solution.

“Hands-free is not risk free,” Dean added. “Anytime you are doing anything, be it holding a phone or having a conversation even if the phone is not in front of you, your mind is not focus on what’s in front of you.”

While nationally more than 20% of distracted driving cases deal with phones, there are other factors drivers should be concerned about.

“Anything that diverts attention from driving – eating and drinking, adjusting the navigation, or picking your next podcast, talking to other passengers, or talking or texting on the phone—can result in a fatal injury,” said a AAA news released.

Here are some tips AAA recommends to avoid distractions while driving:
Prepare for your drive. Set vehicle systems like GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before hitting the road. Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time. And please, finish dressing and personal grooming at home – before you get on the road.

Don’t Drive Intoxicated. Don’t Drive Intexticated. The consequences of alcohol-impaired driving and texting while driving could be the same: Put aside electronic distractions and never use text messaging, email, video games or internet functions, including those built into the vehicle, while driving. Stow your smartphone away, turn it to airplane mode, or activate call/text blocking features.

Stay focused. Do not let anything divert your attention. Be sure to actively scan the road, use your mirrors, and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists. If you have passengers, enlist their help as a “designated texter.” Ask them to answer your calls, respond to texts and program the navigation.

Again, the hands-free law will go into effect statewide on Jan. 1, 2021.

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The RPM Act is common-sense, bi-partisan legislation to protect law-abiding citizens who convert cars, trucks and motorcycles into racing vehicles. The bill clarifies that it is legal to make emissions-related changes to a street vehicle for the purpose of converting it into a racecar used exclusively in competition. It also confirms that it is legal to produce, market and install racing equipment.

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