Obama Bypasses Congress to Mandate Black Boxes for All Cars — Beginning in ’14

by Pete Winn, CNSNews.com  |  published on March 8, 2013

black box

Bypassing Congress, the Obama administration has issued a proposed administrative rule, which if adopted, would mandate the installation of “black boxes” in all automobiles and light trucks beginning in 2014.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed the regulation on Dec. 7, which it said “would capture valuable safety-related data in the seconds before and during a motor vehicle crash.”

The proposed standard would require automakers to install event data recorders (EDRs) – so-called “black box devices” — to collect specific safety related data in all light passenger vehicles beginning Sept. 1, 2014.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said approximately 96 percent of model year 2013 passenger cars and light-duty vehicles are already equipped with black-box capability.

“By understanding how drivers respond in a crash and whether key safety systems operate properly, NHTSA and automakers can make our vehicles and our roadways even safer,” LaHood said in a news release. “This proposal will give us the critical insight and information we need to save more lives.”

EDRs do not collect any personal identifying information or record conversations and do not run continuously, according to LaHood.

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