Skip to comments.Does Your Vehicle Have An ' Event Data Recorder' On Board?
Posted on 02/04/2005 7:31:09 PM PST by Rennes Templar
Your car is most likely recording things about your driving and that information can be used against you if you have a traffic accident.
Most people don't know their car has a black box. They are similar to ones in airplanes, although they don't record voices, but they do record plenty of other things that happen before a crash.
Even though it's silver, it's called a black box or airbag sensor or event data recorder. Its main job is safety, it operates the airbags, but it also records information and because of that, a Glenpool teenager could be charged with negligent homicide. It'll be the first time anyone's been charged in Tulsa County based on a black box, but you can bet, it won't be the last.
Last year, a 19 year old man took his sister's 2002 Trans-Am out for a test drive the day after she bought it. He lost control and hit two utility poles; the crash killed his passenger, who was also 19. The driver had no idea the car would become a witness against him. Tulsa Police removed the black box from the wreckage and it had quite a story to tell.
The Trans Am's computer read-out says five seconds before he hit the first pole, the driver was going 121 miles an hour, the throttle was at 100% and the RPM's at 5504. At four seconds before impact, he took his foot off the gas and his speed dropped to 119. At three seconds, he hit the brakes and slowed to 108. At two seconds, he was down to 102 and one second later, just before he hit the first pole, he was going 87 miles an hour. Police sent that information to the DA, for a negligent homicide charge.
The National Transportation Safety Board wants black boxes in all vehicles. And another crash is one of the reasons why. An 86 year old man killed 10 people and injured 63 when he plowed into a farmer's market in California in 2003. Some witnesses said he was braking, others said he was accelerating.
Investigators still don't know for sure and that's when they said wanted black boxes in all vehicles sold in the US, which will happen by 2009. But 10-million vehicles already have them and some people wonder how they got installed with so few people knowing about it.
Car makers say the recorders give them real-world data they can't get in a lab and that helps them make safer cars. Adam Goins, Riverside Chevrolet Service Mgr: "Accidents are what they are, they're accidents and weird things happen and the data that comes out of this box helps manufacturers make a safer product."
The box records information as you're driving. If you slam on your brakes or crash, it decides in milliseconds which seatbelt to cinch up or which airbag to deploy, which is a great safety feature, it also starts retaining the information it recorded. Tulsa Police Sgt Rick Bondy: "It keeps a rolling track, five seconds worth of data, on how fast you're going, if your foot is on the gas or the brake, engine speed, who's wearing a seatbelt, who's in the front seat."
Many people don't like the idea of being spied on without their consent or knowledge, especially since there are no guidelines about who can get this information or how they can use it. Attorney Wayne Copeland: "We're no longer a country that's as free as it once was. We're more of a police state every day." Others argue something must be done about the 6,000 crashes in this country every day and their enormous financial and physical cost.
An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper showed us how to hook up to a black box in a wrecked car and read the data. OHP trooper Ron Singleton: "The driver was buckled; the air bag was on the passenger side."
Prosecutors say when it comes to finding the truth, a computer is more reliable than contradicting witnesses and since the black box has no personal bias, it can prove a person's innocence as well as guilt. Tulsa County First Assistant DA Doug Drummond: "Something where a life has been lost or it's serious, if there's a piece of evidence out there that will help you find the truth, which would surely outweigh anyone's privacy in my opinion."
Some worry about the uses of this technology not even conceived of yet, like recording months of data that allows dealers to refuse warranty work or insurance companies, to deny coverage or lawyers to file lawsuits. This debate of safety versus privacy is just beginning and will no doubt result in rules about how much these boxes record, who can legally get the information and how it can be used.
To see if your vehicle has an event recorder onboard, check this site: http://www.harristechnical.com/downloads/cdrlist.pdf
Well, if the data recorded on the box is accurate, that kid should be in trouble.
I say take a hammer to it since you own it with the car. Until they pass a law stating that it's Govt. Property then....IMO of course.
of course, but we only here about these extreme cases.
most of the cases where this is going to be used will not be such extreme cases, they will be "simple" cases. Basically, if you are involved in an accident that results in serious injury or fatality to someone else - if you've made one mistake, 10MPH over the limit, maybe you didn't brake as early as you could have before the impact - they are going to use the car data to both prosecute you in court, or go after your assets in civil court. these black boxes will force anyone who gets into an accident to show they they were a "perfect driver" before the impact.
what are you going to do, after the crash, start rooting around under the hood looking for the box so you can smash it? the police are going to arrive and impound the vehicle before you can do that.
Evil Data Recorder? My data recorder only records goodness. ;-)
Most people don't know their car has a black box.The most hackneyed term of our lifetimes: black box.
The slang from which this sprouted as used by the true techies should *never* have been allowed to have 'escaped' ...
as long as it doesn't record my baaad singing...
A warrant will still be needed to allow law enforcement to use the data. If a driver doesn't provide probable cause, he's got nothing to worry about.
i honestly TRY to drive correctly, so i don't care.
They are similar to ones in airplanes, although they don't record voices, but they do record plenty of other things that happen before a crash.FAILURE by the author to understand that there are TWO types of recorders aboard air-transport aircraft - data and voice recorders?
It will also show if you have a habit of going over the speed limit!
the accident alone is probable cause. cars are routinely imponded after these types of accidents for safety checks anyway.
I don't think they installed them on '88 ford broncos, but I'll look.
No, eliminate it just after you purchase it. Not tamper with evidence of a crime scene. That would be wrong.
On the other hand, if you are in an accident where you are not at fault (ie normal driving and blindsided by another) then the box should help prove that.
There's no way that nutjob was braking. The 10 people he killed were spaced over a distance of at least 100 yards and they weren't all in the same line. He won't do any time because he's an old fogey.
Well, I'd say an accident is a good reason to demand the data :)
Attorney Wayne Copeland: "We're no longer a country that's as free as it once was. We're more of a police state every day."Defendant's attorney, no doubt, busy poisoning the jury pool ...
you can't, the car will not function without this capability - its an integral part of the cars ECU.
That's one of my pet peeves...elderly drivers that shouldn't be.
If Russell Weller hadn't hit a car at an intersection thereby causing his car to stop with a body on the hood and one underneath, he'd still be plowing people over.
I'm guessing your car won't work without it.
It has already been used for at least one DUI trial. The facts gleaned from the recorder were air bag deployment time and brake application.
Bummer. With all the techno wizards out there hacking every website, X-box and cable provider you'd think that someone would find a way around it.
of course, that is true.
but the issue really is not some kids going 121MPH. for a long time now, the government has been trying to do away with the concept of an "accident". everything is now someone's fault. the truth is, that some driver's brake later then others, some don't see as well as others, some don't react as fast, speed limits are set artificially low to encourage ticket enforcement, so that on any given road, almost everyone is exceeding the speed limit by 10-15%. so, should we criminalize all of these activities, and use the black box data to substantiate it?
Their called black box's because the original data recorders were actually black.No they weren't.
ALL the boxes in the original avionics bay were black, so when you say BLACK BOX which d*mn black box is being referring to?
MOST of the whipper-snappers and 'consumerists' here have never seen, let alone know about the 'avionics bay' *or* what is located there ...
Have you ever seen an LRU pulled from an avionics bay?
Any legal eagles here can explain why it is not a 5th ammendment violation to prosecute somebody using this data ?
Anybody know if flight data recorders can be used for criminal and civil proceedings? I thought they were used only for the safety investigation, but I could be wrong.
well yes, but what happens when people start asking for it for personal injury claims - many of which are false or exaggerated? so you tap some guy at a light, can he assert some right to have the police impound your car so he can get the data off of it? where does it end? what level of injuries have to occur to trigger impounding your car for a data read? only deaths? only when people go to the hospital? or when Irving, the guy you tapped at the light, says his neck hurts?
If a speeding Drunk hits you,,You already have seen the data
No doubt. Law enforcement apathy toward this kind of thing is infuriating. A cop is more than happy to write me a ticket for 10 MPH over the limit when I'm not within 1/4 mile of anybody. But they just shrug their shoulders when asked why they won't cite an old guy for blocking traffic when he's going 20 MPH below the speed limit, which is more dangerous most of the time.
Cuz,,,they will not understand
Cuz,,,they will not understand
Ya think not ?
Sorry guys, it's not just one box; your OBD-II system (all all cars and light trucks made since 1996, records all kinds of drivetrain-related data for emissions compliance; you supplemental restraint system records a continuous loop of data right up until an air bag deploys, and other vehicle systems also keep tabs on various vehicle parameters.
Not yet...But they are thinking...
I'll rant when, and where necessary, thank you.
Words from someone with something to hide.
Maybe all of 'em didn't go to public school!
Maybe George Jones knew something before we all did. They don't have them on Lawn Mowers yet, do they?
yes, but you can't just unplug the thing. either the car will not run, or the airbag lights will be permanently lit, or some sensor will go nuts, etc.
Now if you get a speeding ticket or a ticket for running a light and you were not speeding or did stop, can you use that data for your defense?
And the prosecutor or plaintiff's attorney will argue to the jury that you planned to drive in a reckless manner and were trying to cover up. If you did decided to take the stand, they would argue that your testimony is not credible, because you wanted to hide the true, objective evidence which would be in the courtroom but for your actions.
Is there a list of years and cars that the black boxes installed in them? Where are the boxes located and how do you disable them?
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