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Does Your Vehicle Have An ' Event Data Recorder' On Board?
KOTV News (Tulsa) ^ | Feb. 4, 2005 | Lori Fullbright

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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: privacy
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As with all monitoring technology, it's a two-edged sword. But if a speeding drunk hits me, I would like to see his data.
1 posted on 02/04/2005 7:31:09 PM PST by Rennes Templar
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To: Rennes Templar

Well, if the data recorded on the box is accurate, that kid should be in trouble.


2 posted on 02/04/2005 7:33:45 PM PST by Floratina
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To: Rennes Templar

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.


3 posted on 02/04/2005 7:34:12 PM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If Islam is a religion of peace, they should fire their P.R. guy!)
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To: Rennes Templar

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.


4 posted on 02/04/2005 7:35:28 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Floratina

Big trouble.


5 posted on 02/04/2005 7:36:26 PM PST by Rennes Templar ("The future ain't what it used to be".........Yogi Berra)
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To: K4Harty

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.


6 posted on 02/04/2005 7:36:30 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Rennes Templar

Evil Data Recorder? My data recorder only records goodness. ;-)


7 posted on 02/04/2005 7:36:37 PM PST by RetroWarrior ("We count it death to falter, not to die")
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To: Rennes Templar
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' ...

8 posted on 02/04/2005 7:36:39 PM PST by _Jim (<--- Ann C. and Rush L. speak on gutless Liberals (RealAudio files))
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To: Rennes Templar

as long as it doesn't record my baaad singing...


9 posted on 02/04/2005 7:37:19 PM PST by hispanarepublicana (Miss Free Republic High School-198?)
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To: oceanview

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.


10 posted on 02/04/2005 7:38:38 PM PST by mewzilla (Has CBS retracted the story yet?)
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To: Rennes Templar

i honestly TRY to drive correctly, so i don't care.


11 posted on 02/04/2005 7:38:43 PM PST by ken21 (most news today is either stupid or evil.)
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To: Rennes Templar
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?
12 posted on 02/04/2005 7:39:11 PM PST by _Jim (<--- Ann C. and Rush L. speak on gutless Liberals (RealAudio files))
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To: oceanview

It will also show if you have a habit of going over the speed limit!


13 posted on 02/04/2005 7:39:16 PM PST by TheLion
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To: mewzilla

the accident alone is probable cause. cars are routinely imponded after these types of accidents for safety checks anyway.


14 posted on 02/04/2005 7:39:31 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Rennes Templar

I don't think they installed them on '88 ford broncos, but I'll look.


15 posted on 02/04/2005 7:39:52 PM PST by exnavy (lead, follow or get out of the way)
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To: oceanview

No, eliminate it just after you purchase it. Not tamper with evidence of a crime scene. That would be wrong.


16 posted on 02/04/2005 7:40:39 PM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If Islam is a religion of peace, they should fire their P.R. guy!)
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To: _Jim
Their called black box's because the original data recorders were actually black. That lasted until investigators noticed that the box's were almost impossible to locate after a crash. I guess no one realized that just about everything turns black in fire.
17 posted on 02/04/2005 7:40:46 PM PST by RetroWarrior ("We count it death to falter, not to die")
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To: oceanview

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.


18 posted on 02/04/2005 7:40:56 PM PST by Rennes Templar ("The future ain't what it used to be".........Yogi Berra)
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To: Rennes Templar
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.

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.

19 posted on 02/04/2005 7:40:57 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Please leave a message after the burp....)
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To: oceanview

Well, I'd say an accident is a good reason to demand the data :)


20 posted on 02/04/2005 7:41:33 PM PST by mewzilla (Has CBS retracted the story yet?)
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To: Rennes Templar
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 ...
21 posted on 02/04/2005 7:41:37 PM PST by _Jim (<--- Ann C. and Rush L. speak on gutless Liberals (RealAudio files))
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To: K4Harty

you can't, the car will not function without this capability - its an integral part of the cars ECU.


22 posted on 02/04/2005 7:41:47 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity

That's one of my pet peeves...elderly drivers that shouldn't be.


23 posted on 02/04/2005 7:42:35 PM PST by Rennes Templar ("The future ain't what it used to be".........Yogi Berra)
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To: Rennes Templar
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.

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.

24 posted on 02/04/2005 7:43:20 PM PST by hole_n_one
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To: K4Harty

I'm guessing your car won't work without it.


25 posted on 02/04/2005 7:44:38 PM PST by SmithL (Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?)
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To: Rennes Templar

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.


26 posted on 02/04/2005 7:44:45 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: oceanview

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.


27 posted on 02/04/2005 7:45:08 PM PST by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If Islam is a religion of peace, they should fire their P.R. guy!)
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To: Rennes Templar

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?


28 posted on 02/04/2005 7:45:20 PM PST by oceanview
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To: RetroWarrior
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?

29 posted on 02/04/2005 7:46:37 PM PST by _Jim (<--- Ann C. and Rush L. speak on gutless Liberals (RealAudio files))
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To: Rennes Templar

Any legal eagles here can explain why it is not a 5th ammendment violation to prosecute somebody using this data ?


30 posted on 02/04/2005 7:47:00 PM PST by mo
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To: Rennes Templar
This was tested in 4 Wheel drive pick ups in
the South East.
In 99% of all fatal accidents the last recorded words
were
"Here Bubba, Hold my beer and watch this"
31 posted on 02/04/2005 7:47:16 PM PST by WKB (Is it weird here, or is it just me?)
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To: Rennes Templar

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.


32 posted on 02/04/2005 7:47:56 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: mewzilla

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?


33 posted on 02/04/2005 7:48:55 PM PST by oceanview
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To: Rennes Templar

If a speeding Drunk hits you,,You already have seen the data


34 posted on 02/04/2005 7:49:06 PM PST by southronbtgoG (If I knew everything , I'd be ,,,well I don't come close)
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To: Rennes Templar

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.


35 posted on 02/04/2005 7:50:42 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Please leave a message after the burp....)
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To: WKB

Cuz,,,they will not understand


36 posted on 02/04/2005 7:51:12 PM PST by southronbtgoG (If I knew everything , I'd be ,,,well I don't come close)
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To: southronbtgoG

Cuz,,,they will not understand


Ya think not ?


37 posted on 02/04/2005 7:52:06 PM PST by WKB (Is it weird here, or is it just me?)
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To: Rennes Templar

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.


38 posted on 02/04/2005 7:52:14 PM PST by Jagman (so that's it then, we're all dead...)
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To: _Jim
It's the media that refers to flight data recorders (and cockpit voice recorders)as black boxes. And, as a Cobra mechanic in the Army, I am aware of avionics bays, so turn your rant onto someone else.
39 posted on 02/04/2005 7:53:40 PM PST by RetroWarrior ("We count it death to falter, not to die")
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To: WKB

Not yet...But they are thinking...


40 posted on 02/04/2005 7:54:37 PM PST by southronbtgoG (If I knew everything , I'd be ,,,well I don't come close)
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To: RetroWarrior

I'll rant when, and where necessary, thank you.


41 posted on 02/04/2005 7:55:04 PM PST by _Jim (<--- Ann C. and Rush L. speak on gutless Liberals (RealAudio files))
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To: _Jim

Your welcome.


42 posted on 02/04/2005 7:55:32 PM PST by RetroWarrior ("We count it death to falter, not to die")
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To: Rennes Templar
"We're no longer a country that's as free as it once was. We're more of a police state every day."

Words from someone with something to hide.

43 posted on 02/04/2005 7:55:36 PM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
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To: southronbtgoG

Maybe all of 'em didn't go to public school!


44 posted on 02/04/2005 7:55:47 PM PST by WKB (Is it weird here, or is it just me?)
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To: Rennes Templar

Maybe George Jones knew something before we all did. They don't have them on Lawn Mowers yet, do they?


45 posted on 02/04/2005 7:55:55 PM PST by AZ_Cowboy ("Be ever vigilant, for you know not when the master is coming")
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To: Jagman

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.


46 posted on 02/04/2005 7:55:56 PM PST by oceanview
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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?


47 posted on 02/04/2005 7:56:16 PM PST by Pylon (R)
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To: K4Harty
I say take a hammer to it since you own it with the car.

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.

48 posted on 02/04/2005 7:57:07 PM PST by PAR35
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To: mo
I'm no legal eagle, but I'd say it's along the lines of it being an "objective witness". You didn't commit the information to a secondary party yourself as if you were describing it to someone else in a bar. (BTW, that is something for the legal eagles -- why can your diary be admitted as a matter of course as evidence against you?)
49 posted on 02/04/2005 7:57:39 PM PST by jiggyboy
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To: Rennes Templar

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?


50 posted on 02/04/2005 7:58:17 PM PST by garyhope
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