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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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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.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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