Sunday Times Article (part of the article below) Black boxes are being sidelined as too intrusive for Britains road-charge system Government plans to force drivers to carry satellite-linked black boxes in their cars as part of a national pay-as-you-drive scheme are unlikely ever to be introduced because ministers fear a public backlash on privacy grounds. Instead, the government is planning to introduce a system of car tagging which will be less intrusive and charge drivers only on a limited number of toll roads. When a vehicle passes a roadside beacon a tag installed in the car would trigger a charge for the use of that section of road. Recent reports have suggested that Alistair Darling, the transport secretary, is planning to tax drivers on a per mile basis by tracking cars with GPS (global positioning system) technology. The government is likely to back away from these proposals nearer the time road charging is introduced, according to Department for Transport (DfT) sources. Devices the size of audio cassettes have been installed on the dashboards of the cars of the 500 volunteers in Yorkshire. Seven pairs of 25ft steel gantries have been erected on the M621 between junctions 5 and 6; on the A639 link between the M1 and the M621; the A61 between Leeds and Wakefield and on local roads south of Leeds. The gantries also carry cameras that record numberplates. The results will be monitored from KBRs UK headquarters in Leatherhead, Surrey, with plans to issue dummy bills and penalty notices later in the year. Transport for London (TfL), the mayors transport arm, plans to carry out similar trials this summer using the same tagging technology. It hopes to install the technology in the current congestion charging zone from 2009. The tag being tested by TfL could also be used like a mobile-phone SIM card, storing cash credits which could be deducted automatically when cars pass a charge beacon. .............................. In Texas where KBR was involved in proposals for tolled freeways there have been widespread protests at plans to introduce car tagging on the grounds that the state is taxing people to use roads the public has already paid to build. Motorists have been told that under the scheme they will have to pay up to one dollar per mile in electronic road tolls, a similar concept to the British governments proposals for charges of up to £1.34 per mile. Protest groups have united under the banner of the Texas Toll Party, which has rallied popular support among thousands of motorists. Opposition is gathering such momentum in Texas President George Bushs home state that the authorities may be forced to think again. The objections raised are almost identical to those levelled against Britains road charging plans. We already have a gas tax; we dont need another tax, said Sal Costello, founder of the Texas Toll Party. They (the Texan governors) claim because of congestion and because there is not enough money coming from the gas (petrol) tax they need to charge us tolls as well.