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German Politicians Want Speed Limit on Autobahn

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Autobahn Germany

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A longtime haven for speed-happy drivers, the speed-unrestricted Autobahn might get slapped with a speed-limit, at least if two political parties get their way.

Germany’s Green Party and Social Democratic Party (SPD) are pushing for a measly speed limit of 120 km/h (75 mph) on all stretches of the famous highway. The former believes that the move will significantly reduce greenhouse gasses; while the latter does not necessarily agree with that argument, it does agree that a speed limit will reduce the number of fatal accidents on the country’s highways.

ADAC, Europe’s largest automobile association, is against the idea and has accused the two parties of living in the automotive stone age. It argues that while the autobahn accounts for a third of all travel on German roads, it accounts for just 11 percent of all traffic accidents and fatalities. The vast majority — 60 percent — of all deaths on German streets happen on roads with speed limits.

This is not the first time that attempts have been made to impose a speed limit on the Autobahn. The Social Democratic Party tried its hand in 2007 and in 2012, but proved unsuccessful on both accounts because of stiff opposition by the current government, which is led by Chancellor Angela Merkel. However, things might change once Germans head to the polls on September 22nd, 2013.

Reference: Spiegel

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Government/Legal

Musk Settles SEC Lawsuit – Pays $20M Fine, No Longer Tesla’s Chairman

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Elon Musk debuting Tesla Roadster

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He’s no longer chairman but remains CEO.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has settled the Security and Exchanges Commission lawsuit filed against him, agreeing to pay a $20 million fine as a civil penalty and step down as the chairman of the company’s board, a position he cannot reclaim for at least three years. Musk remains Tesla’s CEO, though.

Additionally, Tesla will pay a $20 million fine, bringing the total fine to $40 million; must appoint two new independent directors to its board; and create a new committee of independent directors to oversee Musk’s communications.

The SEC originally filed a lawsuit against the outspoken executive after his August 2018 tweet about wanting to take the company private, a tweet that specifically stated “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”

The regulatory agency alleged that Musk violated protocol and did not in fact have the funds fully vetted at the time of his tweet and originally wanted him banned from any director or officer positions at the company. The $40 million fine will be distributed to harmed investors.

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Canada

Sikh Motorcyclists Can Soon Ride Without Helmets In Ontario

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sikh motorcycle helmet

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Canada’s largest province, Ontario, will become the fourth province in the country to allow Sikh motorcyclists to ride without helmets.

Male Sikhs wear turbans for religious purposes. In an August roundtable interview with the Sikh community in Brampton, ON, premier Doug Ford said “It’s going to be one of my agendas, I’ll move forward with it, I’m keeping my promise” when asked about exempting male Sikhs.”

“Promises made, promises kept,” he added.

Alberta became the third province to exempt Sikh riders from helmets in March 2018, following in the footsteps of British Columbia and Manitoba. Bills regarding the matter were introduced in Ontario as far back as 2013 but were shot down and failed to pass.

The helmet law as it pertains to Sikhs was first challenged in Ontario in 2008, when the Ontario Human Rights Commission took up the cause of Baljinder Badesha, who was fighting a $110 ticket for refusing to wear his motorcycle helmet.

Ontario Court Justice James Blacklock ended up ruling against Badesha and the OHRC. In his 35-page decision, he stated that an exemption would render the province’s helmet law unwieldy since anyone violating it could simply claim they were devout, a sound argument, if you ask me, even when not considering for the safety implications.

Let us know, is it fair for only Sikh motorcyclists to be exempt from the helmet law, and is there a solid argument for the exemption? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Credit: Surjit Singh Flora

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Government/Legal

Government Tax Credit For Tesla Cars Is Being Eliminated

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Tesla Model S EV Driving, red

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As predicted last month, has officially sold over 200,000 vehicles in the US, a threshold that triggers the phase out of the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles.

The tax credit will be cut in half to $3,750 starting in January 1, 2019 so buyers have until the end of 2018 to get the full $7,500 amount.

If the US government doesn’t intervene, the amount will be further halved to $1875 in July 1, 2019, before being eliminated altogether by the end of the year.

To notify buyers of the change, Tesla has updated its website to reflect the revised tax incentives.

Tesla is the first automaker to surpass the 200,000 threshold, but General Motors isn’t far behind and Nissan is well on its way. Act fast if you want an electric car from any of these manufacturers.

On a related note, Ontario, Canada’s largest province, has canceled its generous tax incentives of up to $10,645 ($14,000 Canadian) for electric cars following the election of Conservative Doug Ford as premier.

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