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NHTSA's David Strickland   (Source: John F. Martin/Chevrolet)
David Strickland told The Detroit News that EDRs are "essential" for the safety of drivers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is siding strongly with the implementation of event data recorders (EDRs) in all vehicles built after 2014, but others are still worried about the privacy of drivers.

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told The Detroit News that EDRs are "essential" for the safety of drivers, and that he opposed the idea of having a switch that would turn the black boxes off.

"The EDR information tells us so much about what's going on with a vehicle," said Strickland. "[It will] allow us to figure out what went wrong so we can fix it or we can ask the manufacturers to fix it."

EDRs, or black boxes, collect driver data such as speed, use of a seatbelt, whether brakes were applied, etc. before and after a vehicle crash. The idea behind them is to deploy better safety measures for vehicles as well as better overall vehicle design.

While EDRs could be helpful in the case of an auto accident, some believe that driver privacy is at stake. For instance, auto insurance company AAA voiced concerns about privacy recently.

"Congress needs to ensure motorist rights are protected by passing legislation that prohibits access to data without permission from the owner or from a court order, unless the data is used for research purposes and cannot be tracked to a single vehicle," said Robert Darbelnet, president and CEO of AAA.

Strickland responded to such claims, saying the EDRs "don't track people" and "don't record (at all times)."

Earlier this month, the White House Office of Management Budget finally completed its review of the NHTSA's EDR proposal to boost the number of new vehicles with EDRs from 91.6 percent today to 100 percent of light-duty cars and trucks. The White House delayed its review for over a year.

Some automakers already place EDRs in all of their vehicles, such as Ford, General Motors Mazda and Toyota.

Source: The Detroit News

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By Shadowself on 12/19/2012 7:51:18 PM , Rating: 4
Do these idiots really think that once these are installed in a large number of cars in the U.S. that insurance companies won't require that their customers sign up to handing over this data any time they have an accident? It will be in the fine print for sure. Buy insurance and give up your right to not incriminate yourself.

Forget the police. They will get access to it through a court order upon the suspicion of the driver doing something improper. We can look forward to a lot more "after the fact" tickets.

With the insurance company, if you're in an accident your policy will say they get access to the data.

Oh, you were driving 3 mph over the posted speed limit, hit a patch of ice and slid into a concrete embankment. Too bad. You were speeding. Your policy does not pay for anything because you were speeding. It does not matter that you've been paying thousands per year for that car. You now get to replace it out of your own pocket.

Unless there is specific legislation to stop this IT WILL HAPPEN.

RE: Idiots
By sorry dog on 12/19/2012 10:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
Flo can take that Snapshot thingy and shove it up her big fat ass. If I could do it anonymously, I would run by local Progressive office, and snapshot a few 130mph rides just to see what they say.

RE: Idiots
By SRHelicity on 12/20/2012 1:43:20 AM , Rating: 4
Uh, most cars sold now already have a "black box" in them. Heck, all GM cars sold since the mid-late 1990s have black boxes (EDRs). This isn't really news, per se, other than mandating their use. As a result, law enforcement has been able to use EDRs for more than a decade to help reconstruct accidents/crashes, and lawyers have been using these data as well.

RE: Idiots
By Schrag4 on 12/20/2012 9:47:06 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, you were driving 3 mph over the posted speed limit, hit a patch of ice and slid into a concrete embankment. Too bad. You were speeding.

You might want to slow down a little if there are patches of ice on the road. I wouldn't want to insure you either if you drive like that.

Just sayin'

RE: Idiots
By Dr of crap on 12/20/2012 11:39:54 AM , Rating: 2
Don't have ice in the winter where you are?

Not all ice requires a slow down, but then again with all the scared drivers on the road, just try and NOT drive slow with any ice.

RE: Idiots
By Schrag4 on 12/20/2012 1:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I'll bite. If you'll read the original post, which I quoted in my post, the scenario is that he's speeding on an icy road, loses control, and hits a concrete embankment. If he (not me) posts on the internet saying that his insurance should cover an accident he has while driving over the speed limit on ice, do you think YOU would want to insure him?

Oh, and I drove to work on ice this morning, thanks. After a quick brake check at low speed it was obvious that if I was going to share the road with other drivers who might need to stop suddenly, whether by using their brakes, another car, or a combination of the two, I would have to drive slower than normal. I did not drive 3 over the speed limit because I didn't want to deal with my insurance company today. But yeah, I guess that means I drive like an old man.

By the way, I was lucky enough to learn very early on in my life that getting there in one piece is more important than getting there a minute or two sooner. I say lucky because I learned that lesson with only a simple scar to remind me and nothing worse. If you need to be there two minutes sooner then leave two minutes sooner.

RE: Idiots
By TDMoses on 12/20/2012 2:48:21 PM , Rating: 2
All you are saying is that you are being a child and won't take responsibility for your actions. If you speed and cause an accident, that's your fault. Suck it up.

RE: Idiots
By 91TTZ on 12/20/2012 3:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
He's saying that the insurance companies will use the data from the recorders to try to get out of paying for an accident. In his example he's going 3 over the speed limit but the speed isn't what caused the crash, the ice did. He's saying that the insurance company will ask for the telemetry data, see that he was going 3 mph over the speed limit, and then try to use that as their excuse not to pay when really it wasn't the cause of the accident.

RE: Idiots
By TDMoses on 12/20/2012 4:58:59 PM , Rating: 2
Then drive responsibly and legally, and you won't have a problem. Why do you argue? Do you feel entitled to speed? Are you above the law? If you are doing something illegal when something else goes wrong, you should be liable.

Let me pull an example from the movie Liar, Liar. Man is breaking into a house and falls on a knife. He then sues the homeowner for falling on that knife. Reality or not, I think it is a good point.

Or here is an example quite similar that I have heard cases about. A family owns a house with a pool or trampoline in their backyard, someone trespasses onto their property and gets injured and sues the family. Is that fair?

RE: Idiots
By Schrag4 on 12/21/2012 6:44:50 AM , Rating: 2
Agree 100%. Also, people seem to be missing 2 other points. The first one is that insurance companies are in the business of making money, just like everybody else. I asked it before, would you want to insure someone who speeds when there's ice on the road? If you reject my first point, you might just be thinking of yourself, and that's fine because the second point is about you. If you're insured, in the event of an accident your chances of receiving a fair payout suffers when insurance companies have to pay out to people who cause their own accidents through negligence. There's only so many insurance premium dollars to go around, it's not rocket science.

Chunk it.
By HostileEffect on 12/19/2012 7:39:54 PM , Rating: 2
Is it reasonably possible to remove it and keep the vehicle from going tits up?

RE: Chunk it.
By AlvinCool on 12/19/2012 7:45:42 PM , Rating: 1
Sure but that isn't the issue. If you tamper with the device and it's been federally mandated for the car you stand a chance of going to a federal prison.

RE: Chunk it.
By Shadowself on 12/19/2012 7:54:23 PM , Rating: 2
Prison is extremely unlikely. However, fines are quite likely if you are in an accident with it disabled/removed.

It will become one of the things they checked in the regular safety inspection. Don't have one that is operational? You don't pass inspection and likely can't get the car licensed.

RE: Chunk it.
By V-Money on 12/19/2012 9:19:48 PM , Rating: 2
It will become one of the things they checked in the regular safety inspection. Don't have one that is operational? You don't pass inspection and likely can't get the car licensed.

Not all states require annual/biannual safety inspections. In fact very few on the west coast do. That was one of the biggest pains of moving to Maryland is that I had to get a safety inspection on my truck and motorcycle, talk about a racket. I was coming from California and never had to deal with that crap, in fact the place where I lived in Cali I didn't even need to get it smogged.

RE: Chunk it.
By Dr of crap on 12/20/2012 11:36:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yea so sad for all you needing this.
We had about 10 years of testing for emmisions, and it was found our air quality is really clean, and so they shut it down.

Yea the govt shut it down !

RE: Chunk it.
By SAN-Man on 12/19/2012 11:14:13 PM , Rating: 2
Mandate for manufacture does not equal mandate for use in most cases.

RE: Chunk it.
By spamreader1 on 12/20/2012 8:18:14 AM , Rating: 2
Is that like tearing the tag off the mattress?

RE: Chunk it.
By 91TTZ on 12/20/2012 3:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
However if you loot the pensions of tens of thousands of blue collar workers who were depending on that pension being there you're lauded as an effective leader, cost-cutter, and wall-street hero.

RE: Chunk it.
By sorry dog on 12/19/2012 10:41:14 PM , Rating: 3
Probably not easily. It most likely will be baked right into the engine management computer. Either you would have to load in a hacked profile or wholesale replace parts of the management system which won't be easy. However, it would be very troubling if it becomes illegal to modify your engine computer...hopefully the aftermarket market will kick and scream on that one.

I do wonder what it's gonna take for more of America to wake to the rapid rate our privacies and freedoms are being siphoned away??

RE: Chunk it.
By RufusM on 12/20/2012 12:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
The NHTSA'a proposal is located here:!documentDetail;D=NHTS...

It describes the proposal, it's goals and have privacy concerns and some descriptions of those.

Can you say
By 96suzuki on 12/19/2012 7:51:58 PM , Rating: 2
Corporate take over? And we wonder why we have occupy...

RE: Can you say
By Ammohunt on 12/20/2012 9:56:02 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah! becasue a bunch of angry pacifist dirty marxist hippies can change the world....RIIIIGHT!

Yeah, Right
By mgilbert on 12/21/2012 8:05:24 AM , Rating: 2
To all you brain dead sheep that don't see a problem with this, and are saying not to break the law and you won't have a problem...

So, you NEVER exceed the posted speed limit by even one MPH? Yeah, right. And you always come to a complete stop at stop signs and before turning right on red? Yeah, I believe you, sure. And you never, ever misjudge and clip a yellow light? And you never, ever follow just a bit more closely than two seconds? Oh, and I bet you always turn you headlights on exactly thirty minutes before sunset as the law requires? Give me a break. What a bunch of self-righteous, lying a**holes! And you'll be the first ones bitching when police start monitoring your EDR, and issuing you annual or monthly speeding tickets for every second you exceed the speed limit by even one MPH.

What a bunch or arrogant, self-righteous lying pricks! STFU, or start screaming about the government abuse sure to follow the EDR mandate! You people are a bunch of totally naive idiots if you think this won't be abused by the government, and by insurance companies.

RE: Yeah, Right
By TDMoses on 12/21/2012 12:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
None of us are saying we haven't sped, we are just being adults and accept the responsibilities for whatever action we take. Grow up.

About time.
By Martlark on 12/20/12, Rating: 0
RE: About time.
By Schrag4 on 12/20/2012 9:51:44 AM , Rating: 3
While the end result would be driver responsibility for their actions, it won't make drivers act any more responsibly. You can tell someone all day long that they'll mess up their life if they do x and they'll still do x, even if the consequences are obvious to everyone. They'll just do like many others and say "I agree, but it'll never happen to me."

Companion law
By havoti97 on 12/20/2012 10:41:30 PM , Rating: 1
This should also be accompanied by a law limiting what insurance companies can take as profit/overhead fees and the rest of the premiums should only be used towards paying out claims. If this discourages reckless driving and stops payout to fraudulent claims, and in the process lower premiums for the rest of the responsible drivers, then I'm all for it.

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