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Black Boxes In Everyone’s Car?

car crash

We hear about it in plane crashes: The flight recorder, or “the black box,” needing to be recovered just to find out what went on up there. But now federal officials are proposing installing black boxes in everyone’s car.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it will require all new U.S. vehicles to have black boxes by Fall of 2014. They’ve noted that  96 percent of cars that were sold new this year (the 2013 models) already had these black boxes and it’s just a matter of making it standard.

These black boxes are in place to record the moments right before, at, and after a crash. It records a number of different data sets, such as how fast the car was going and if the driver was wearing a seat belt.

The black box was used in a couple of high-profile crashes to straight-up catch some politicians in a lie. A Lieutenant Governor and former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine both lied about the status of their vehicle prior to their respective crashes, but the black boxes showed that they were crazy over the speed limit and neither were wearing their seat belts. Also, why weren’t they wearing seat belts? Is that still a thing people do?

There’s also some privacy concerns, basic questions over who gets to see the black box in the event of a crash, how much data the box stores, what kind of data it stores, etc. Most likely this will go to Congress, where they will hoot, holler, throw trash, growl, sniff, and then two years later possibly come out with some regulations that have long since been rendered obsolete.

The states are particularly behind on this issue — 37 states have no rules on how to deal with black boxes.

Question: What do you think should be done with the black boxes?