Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
May 15, 2012
Its been working its way through the halls of congress, but according to Car and Driver, the "black box" mandate for cars could be in the books. The Senate has already voted to adopt a transportation bill that has a provision mandating event data recorders to be equipped into new vehicles starting in 2015. The House of Representatives is considering a version with slightly different language.
The current state of the bills are "vague". In the Senate version, the bill states that devices must “capture and store data related to motor vehicle safety” and release this information to an “interoperable data access port.” Changes are expected if this does go into law.
Of course, when you bring up government regulations and "black boxes", the tin foil hats come out. Currently in the Senate version, there's a provision that the data contained in the little electronic box is actually owned by the owner of the vehicle. If the law wants access to the data, they will likely have to get a court order. But there is a caveat: first responders such as paramedics would also have access to the data, without a court order, if it would help them in an emergency.