Legislation Seeks Mandatory Use of Data Recorders

Mar 04, 2010

Congressman Gene Green (D-TX) has announced plans to introduce legislation that will direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to mandate electronic data recorders on all new cars and trucks. 

The legislation will seek to regulate a uniform minimum standard of information to be recorded on pre- and post-crash data. 

Electronic data recorders (EDRs), also commonly known as black boxes, record certain information such as vehicle speed, change in forward speed, status of airbags, and whether safety belts are engaged. EDRs provide information that cannot be obtained through traditional investigation techniques and may be useful in determining whether a particular driver was at fault in an accident. 

“Electronic data recorders are necessary tools to assist in crash reconstruction and to describe specific crash characteristics,” Green said. “This information is essential to ensure consumers are being properly protected in their vehicles and to improve future consumer safety systems.” 

Green’s legislation, in addition to setting a uniform standard of vehicle criteria, will require a standardized EDR download tool; require accessibility by law enforcement, crash investigators, and emergency services; and require data reporting to NHTSA. Consumer privacy will be protected, he said, by restricted access of the information to official requests, where the law requires it, the request of the vehicle owner, or in connection with litigation. 

Do you agree with a requirement for recorders in your fleet vehicles?  Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.

Photo courtesy of Jim Royal under the Creative Commons License