From From AAIA AutoFacts
WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that the federal government require passenger vehicles to be equipped with “black boxes” that record speed, seat belt use, braking and other factors, which could provide investigators with better information when they probe accidents. This was the first time NTSB has issued any recommendation on event data recorders.
NTSB made its recommendation during a discussion of its investigation into the July 16, 2003, farmers market crash in Santa Monica, Calif., in which an elderly driver drove through the outdoor market, killing 10 and injuring 63. Investigators could gain a better understanding of a driver’s behavior in an accident if an event data recorder (EDR) was in the car, especially in accidents in which investigators cannot speak to the drivers, the NTSB said. EDRs can add depth to an investigation’s conclusions, the NTSB said.
The NTSB recommendation of mandatory installation of black boxes in passenger vehicles follows a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposal issued in June for standard requirements for EDRs voluntarily installed by manufacturers in light vehicles. NHTSA proposed that by September 2008 recorders collect a standard set of data to aid accident investigators, but the installation of EDRs would not be required. NHTSA estimates that about 15 percent of vehicles on the road now have data recorders, and between 65 and 90 percent of 2004 light vehicles will be equipped with EDRs.
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