Black Boxes Could Be Fitted To All New Vehicles
Benefits Of Data Event Recorders
The European Commission might soon require new road vehicles to be fitted with an event data recorder (black box). This could monitor a variety of information in the moments before and during an impact. Such data could clarify which motorist is responsible, for example. Furthermore, motor manufacturers could produce safer cars based on any recorded trends. Governments, in contrast, could use it as a basis for legislation relating to (say) standard features that must be fitted to every new car. Furthermore, a motorist with a black box might be more likely to drive safely as any questionable behaviour would be recorded. It would certainly be far harder to deny speeding or reckless driving, etc. Black boxes could, therefore, make the roads safer. Recorded data could relate to: forward/lateral impact force, the duration of a crash, speed, the position of the throttle, engine revolutions, brake application, anti-lock brake activation, the angle of the steering wheel, stability control engagement, driver and passenger seatbelt engagement, pre-tensioner engagement, air bag deployment, seat positions, the size of occupants and number of impacts, i.e. one or more during the event.
Transport Research Laboratory Assesses Implications
Motor manufacturers tend to fit some sort of event recorder to cars already (typically within the air bag control unit). However, there is no legal obligation or rules relating to the factors that must be recorded. That could soon change. The European Commission – which is aware of the potential benefits of such systems - has therefore asked the Transport Research Laboratory to consider the impact of any legislation. Its report will consider: whether an event data recorder should be fitted to every new vehicle, whether a recorder should be fitted to certain types of new vehicle, what type of information should be recorded, who should have access to the information and – significantly - who owns it. A European Commission spokesman revealed that: “The purpose of the study is to assist the Commission in deciding whether the fitting of event data recorders in all vehicles, or certain categories of vehicle, could result in an improvement in road safety or have other positive consequences”. And is seems that there is enthusiasm for these systems within the Transport Research Laboratory. A representative therefore said: “There is a demonstrable reduction in crash rates if a driver is aware of - and is reminded that - their vehicle is fitted with a monitoring system.” The report is expected in August 2014.