Utah Freedom Coalition

“Dude, Where’s My Car?” No, Seriously- They Are Coming For Your Right To Travel Freely.

The history of the automobile dates back to 1769 when Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot of France built a steam-powered vehicle, similar to a tricycle. The vehicle could carry four people and run for approximately 20 minutes before needing to stop.  There are a host of others who joined in the race to create transportation for the public and by 1926, the United States, Germany, France, and Denmark were all working to build steam-powered vehicles. In fact, the Stanley Brothers built a steam-powered vehicle “that took the world speed record at 127.66 miles (205.45 km) per hour in 1906”.1 The car they built was called the locomobile and was considered the first American-made automobile.

Names like Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, Etienne Lenoir, Siegfried Marcus, and Nikolaus August Otto are not familiar to the general public. Only a true car enthusiast would recognize their contributions to the creation of what we have come to know as the automobile. By 1895, a patent was granted to George B Seldon as the inventor of the automobile. Mr. Seldon “is frequently cited as an early example of a patent troll.”2 Although he never built an automobile, he was able to collect the royalties from other automobile companies because he owned the patent.

However, most Americans recognize the name Henry Ford as being synonymous with the automobile industry. He wanted to encourage the growth of the car industry and make cars available to the general public, not just the wealthy. He did not create the assembly line concept, but he perfected it which allowed his company to mass produce his vehicles.

People were now mobile. They were able to travel greater distances. They could move to different cities and states as they saw fit. They did not need to rely on the rail lines for their transportation. It provided a sense of freedom for everyone able to afford this new form of transportation. The introduction of the automobile changed the way people lived and worked.

Today, owning a vehicle is a necessity. People rely on their vehicles for everyday life. They use their vehicles for work, taking kids to school, grocery shopping, church activities, etc. It is also seen as a major milestone and rite of passage from childhood into adulthood as parents from all over the United States take pictures of their children as they smile proudly, showing off their new driver licenses. Today, we take it for granted that we will always have our cars and trucks. Most residential homes have at least two vehicles in their driveway. However, the shift away from private vehicle ownership has been so subtle that many Americans do not recognize how they are being systematically forced out of their vehicles and into mass transit. The erosion is so slight people don’t even know it’s happening.

Understanding how things are woven together is important and history plays a crucial role in learning how to identify patterns as well as outcomes from those patterns. It often is not recognizable how things are pieced together until it is too late. For example, we are a member state of the United Nations and have been since October 24, 1945. Interestingly enough, the United Nations (UN) is an international non-governmental organization. The World Economic Forum (WEF) was founded by Klaus Schwab back in 1971.  The WEF is also an international non-governmental organization. The two organizations joined recently. It is worth noting that the UN and the WEF are not made up of elected officials. This is something to take note of in terms of the United States where officials are elected of and by the people to represent the people. Does the UN or WEF represent the American citizen or does the mission of the UN and WEF have different goals and objectives?

To understand why these bills have been introduced, a short history of the UN is in order. Before it was the United Nations, it was the League of Nations. The League of Nations was established in 1919 after the first World War.3 Their goal was to maintain world peace, not through wars but through negotiation and arbitration. To do this, the Covenant of the League of Nations was created. It was signed on 28 June 1919 as Part 1 of the Treaty of Versailles, and it became effective with the rest of the Treaty on 10 January 1920.4 One of the chief architects of the creation of the League was President Woodrow Wilson. He was the 28th president and served from 1913 to 1921. Also of importance, his progressive stance on foreign policy, known as Wilsonianism, was instrumental in leading the United States into World War 1 (WWI). This might cause one to pause and take note concerning this convenient coincidence of a US President helping to lead his country to war, via his progressive policies, and him being the chief architect of the creation of the League of Nations.

As the years progressed, the UN became a global entity with world leaders making global decisions. Some of these decisions, including the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2015, have had a ripple effect on all aspects of Utahns daily lives as well as globally. However, these SDGs are a result of years of work by the UN to carefully craft a global system of government that goes beyond borders and elected officials. In 1992, at the Earth Summit, transportation was noted as being a driving force in the demand for energy. It continued to garner attention in 2012 at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Subsequently, the UN Secretary-General, as part of his Five-Year Action Agenda, identified transport as a major component of sustainable development. To this end, the Secretary General established and launched in August 2014 a High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (HLAG-ST), representing all modes of transport including road, rail, aviation, marine, ferry, and urban public transport providers. The policy recommendations of the Advisory Group were submitted to the Secretary-General in a global sustainable transport outlook report, entitled “Mobilizing Sustainable Transport for Development”, released at the first Global Sustainable Transport Conference in November 2016.5

The UN combined forces with the World Economic Forum on June 13, 2019. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres and Klaus Schwab signed a Strategic Partnership Framework that would help to accelerate the 2030 agenda and its implementation. “Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals is essential for the future of humanity. The World Economic Forum is committed to supporting the effort and working with the United Nations to build a more prosperous and equitable future,” said Klaus Schwab, World Economic Founder and Executive Chairman.  “The new Strategic Partnership Framework between the United Nations and the World Economic Forum has great potential to advance our efforts on key global challenges and opportunities, from climate change, health and education to gender equality, digital cooperation, and financing for sustainable development. Rooted in UN norms and values, the Framework underscores the invaluable role of the private sector in this work – and points the way toward action to generate shared prosperity on a healthy planet while leaving no one behind,” said Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General.6

Both Klaus Schwab and Antonio Guterres are telling the world what they have planned according to the norms and values of the United Nations and the World Economic Forum. Are these norms and values compatible with the U.S. Constitution or do they violate our inalienable rights?

It is no secret that the UN has accelerated their efforts to implement Agenda 2030. In his report, Our Common Agenda, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, expressed his views when he said, “Our Common Agenda is aimed at turbocharging the 2030 Agenda and making the Sustainable Development Goals real in the lives of people everywhere. Because halfway to 2030, we are far off track. We will only make up lost ground by addressing the gaps and challenges that have emerged since 2015 – including gaps in intergovernmental cooperation.”7

Part of that effort is focused on SDG 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Goal 11.2 states; By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, person with disabilities and older persons.8

There have been voices who oppose the agenda. Opponents to the UN agenda believe the goal of the UN is global takeover by amassing people into urban areas, living in high density housing, and restricting the people’s ability to travel freely. One such way of doing this is through transportation.

While the article will use Utah as an example, there is a nationwide push to enforce the agenda. Unless a person is actively involved in holding their officials accountable, they may not understand how seemingly innocent bills can hurt the populace. However, when combined with other bills, it has the potential to alter the fabric of our daily lives.

In Utah, there have been several pieces of legislation affecting the ability of people to ultimately travel unhindered or without being tracked. Below is a list of bills from past legislative sessions up through the 2024 session. Please visit le.utah.gov to learn more about each bill discussed here.  

HB309 Driver License Amendments (2024)

 Allows TSA access to verify a concealed carry permit holder. The conceal carry permit designation will be listed on your DL. It is one way to track who owns a weapon. Ultimately can be used to restrict you from travel. Opens the door to mandate that all privately owned weapons be declared on your DL.

HB313 Motor Carrier Amendments (2024)

 The language in this bill can charge semi-annual and annual permit fees. On the surface it may seem benign but upon further inspection, changes were made to the weight of vehicles or combination of vehicles that weigh 84,000 pounds or less and thus would be subject to the permit requirement. For example, the owner of a passenger vehicle, who has made modifications to their vehicle, would have to be very cognizant of width, height, and load extensions in order to keep from being subject to the fee. The vehicle, if modified, would need to make sure they did not exceed the width limit of 8.5 feet, the height limit of 14 feet and ensure any load extensions did not go beyond specified limits.

HB179 Transportation Amendments (2024)

This bill creates an electronic titling system, allowing a private entity operating under the Transportation Security Administration Registered Traveler program to request to verify information from a driver license. Language also added that reads: The requirement to provide funds equal to or greater than 30% of the costs needed for a project described in Subsection (9)(e) does not apply to a public transit capital development project or pedestrian or nonmotorized transportation project that the department processes.9 In other words, the department has oversight on something they do not have to abide by. Where are the checks and balances?

SB155 Road Usage Charge Program Amendments (2024, Did not pass)

The bill would make changes to the road usage charge program, increase registration fees for alternative vehicles, and language added to “annually adjust all registration fees described…by taking the registration fee rate for the previous year and adding an amount equal to the greater of: an amount calculated by multiplying the registration fee of the previous year by the actual percentage change during the previous fiscal year in the Consumer Price Index; and zero”.10

The precursor to the above bill is HB186 Vehicle Registration Amendments (2022)

This bill amended the motor vehicle registration fee for certain vehicles, set the road usage charge and had a road usage cap for those vehicles enrolled in the program. It also allowed the Transportation Commission to set the road usage charge rate beginning 1 January 2023.

As a side note, gas taxes are failing to fund transportation infrastructure across the United States due to gas taxes not being indexed for inflation as well as vehicles becoming more fuel efficient. “The policy wonk’s favorite gas tax replacement is to switch from a gas tax funding mechanism to a road usage charge system. Several states (e.g., Oregon, Utah, and Virginia) have piloted programs where drivers pay for the number of miles traveled instead of a tax on fuel usage.11

The implications for this type of tax has been met with fierce opposition in other states, including privacy concerns and being surveilled by license plate readers, both of which are a violation of our fourth amendment rights.

SB250 Public Surveillance Amendments (2023)

This bill deals with government surveillance. It allows law enforcement agencies to use license plate reading technology that has been gathered by a private entity. This means third-party collection. The definition of captured plate data means the global positioning system coordinates, date and time, photograph, license plate number, and any other data captured by or derived from an automatic license plate reader system.12

SB30 Road Usage Amendments (2023)

This bill removes language requiring appropriation by the legislature in order for the Department of Transportation to administer the Road Usage Charge Program Special Revenue Fund. It also added language to make the fund expendable.  Does this make it easier to hide how the money is being spent?

SB125 Transportation Infrastructure Amendments (2023)

This bill clears the way for Utah’s transportation system to become electrified. The ASPIRE research team at Utah State University in Logan is designated as the lead research center for strategic planning for electrification of transportation infrastructure. A steering committee will lead the initiative which means the strategic planning and development initiative to guide the transition to an electrified and intelligent transportation system in the state.13 The legislature also approved an ongoing amount of $2.1 million dollars for this research project. Combine this with the $5 million dollar grant the Biden administration awarded to Utah through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) program14 and Utah will have a good head start in getting the highways electrified.


SB84 Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zone Amendments (2023)

This may strike you as strange to have a transit and housing bill in an article about vehicles. However, this bill allows for the creation of investment and development of walkable communities. This bill, through affordable housing and transit zones, encourages and eventually reduces the number of vehicles on the road. The push for mass transit is evident in this bill with bus rapid transit stations, existing or proposed commuter rail stations, and light rail stations. Bill language added promotes improving efficiencies in parking and transportation, including walkability of communities near public transit facilities.15  

The walkability communities the bill mentions refers to smart cities or 15-minute cities. These cities encourage the reduction of gas-powered vehicle usage. The use of bus rapid transit systems, electric vehicles, or walking is encouraged over the use of your privately owned vehicle. For example, the new development in Lehi, called The Point, has in its framework plan signature features that promote the use of public transit (electric), both pedal bikes and electric bikes, and of course, walking.  In fact, some of the stakeholder comments regarding transportation included the following: “Important to see active transportation options and reduction of daily vehicle trips”, “…see this development with a ‘ped/bike first‘ approach”, “…very interesting in that all the car fee zones were concentrated into a consolidated area”. The transit system being developed for The Point, as stated in their framework plan, focuses on regional traffic reduction, limited parking, emissions reduction, reduced car ownership, accommodate for potential autonomous tech (rideshare, shuttles, drone delivery etc.), reward EV use, and discourage private vehicle use by setting parking maximums rather than minimums.16

The Point is not the only one of its kind in Utah. There are others, including the new Utah City being developed in Vineyard, and Wonder Block in Ogden. The construction of these walkable communities, smart cities, 15-minute cities, are designed to encourage you to choose some form of either mass transit, micro-transit, bikes, EV’s, or walk. It is very clear that personal gas-powered vehicles are not encouraged nor are there any incentives to own one. In the framework plan for The Point, it states: Serve the site with a high-quality, future-focused, multi-modal transportation system, with an emphasis on convenience, safety, access, regional traffic reduction, limited parking, emissions reduction, and active transportation.17 No where in the document will you find information regarding parking garages, private driveways, or private garages.

The UN appears to be implementing their plans through our elected officials, either knowingly, unknowingly, or through subversion. Either way, SDG goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable with 11.2 being implemented through legislation to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport seems to be alive and well in the Beehive State. While on the surface it may seem benign and even beneficial to the people of Utah there is another agenda at work and that agenda is systematically stripping the rights of all Americans in the United States.

The principle behind these types of communities is to create significant density, limit off-site trip generation (clever way of saying restrict movement), remove private modes of transportation, and encourage reliance on mass transit. However, these communities could not work if the infrastructure was not put in place prior to developers ever breaking ground. The infrastructure is put in place through legislation. Bills, such as the ones described above, are often passed whether the people oppose them or not.

It should be noted that the bills mentioned above are not the only bills that deal with transportation or housing. Please visit le.utah.gov to learn what your legislators are doing during a legislative session. Attending your legislative session as well as the interim sessions throughout the year are a good way to keep an eye on what is going on in your state. It is a good reminder for our elected officials in remembering who they work for. It is also a good way for the public to push back against proposed legislation that is not good for the people of Utah. Stay engaged or you just might be saying: Dude, where’s my car?



1 https://www.britannica.com/technology/automobile/History-of-the-automobile

2 https://www.britannica.com/money/patent-troll#ref1134679

3 Predecessor: The League of Nations | United Nations

4 League of Nations – Wikipedia

5 https://sdgs.un.org/topics/sustainable-transport

6 https://www.weforum.org/press/2019/06/world-economic-forum-and-un-sign-strategic-partnership-framework/

7 https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/

8 Our Common Agenda | United Nations

9 SB0179 (utah.gov)

10 https://le.utah.gov/~2024/bills/static/SB0155.html

11 https://www.multistate.us/insider/2023/9/12/the-gas-tax-is-failing-to-fund-transportation-infrastructure

12 https://le.utah.gov/~2023/bills/static/SB0250.html

13 SB0125 (utah.gov)

14 Biden Administration Awards $5 Million Advanced Technology Grant to Utah for Connected Vehicle Technologies | FHWA (dot.gov)

15 https://le.utah.gov/~2023/bills/static/SB0084.html

16 https://thepointutah.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/The-Point-Framework-Plan-Executive-Summary.pdf

17 https://thepointutah.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/The-Point-Framework-Plan-Executive-Summary.pdf

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