U.S. to propose mandatory vehicle ‘black boxes’

Friday, May 27, 2011
By Paul Martin

David Shepardson
Detroit News
May 27, 2011

The U.S. Transportation Department said today it will propose making vehicle “black boxes” mandatory in all vehicles by the end of the year.
The department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has long considered whether to make black boxes, officially called event data recorders, or EDRs, mandatory. They collect data about the seconds leading up to a crash and can help investigators determine the cause.
Last year, Congress considered requiring EDRs in all vehicles. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told Congress the agency was studying the issue.
The plan was included in a 197-page Transportation Department regulatory reform proposal released by the White House this morning.
“NHTSA plans to propose mandatory EDRs in all passenger vehicles in 2011,” the Transportation Department said in the report.
In a separate agency document posted on its website, NHTSA said it is also working on a proposal “for future enhancements to (EDRs) capabilities and applicability.”

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