Heated debate over car data recorders

11th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

11 April 2006, BRUSSELS - Touring association LLB has launched a debate on whether all future cars should be equipped with a data recorder similar to the 'black boxes' that provide vital information in the event of an airplane accident. The defenders of the system see it as a means of gaining complete information at the time of an accident and thus improving road safety. On the other hand, opponents doubt how effective such an apparatus would be and see it as yet another legal intrusion into citizens' pri

11 April 2006

BRUSSELS - Touring association LLB has launched a debate on whether all future cars should be equipped with a data recorder similar to the 'black boxes' that provide vital information in the event of an airplane accident.
 
The defenders of the system see it as a means of gaining complete information at the time of an accident and thus improving road safety. On the other hand, opponents doubt how effective such an apparatus would be and see it as yet another legal intrusion into citizens' privacy.
 
LLB has launched an investigation into the equipment, which constantly measures the parameters of the uninterrupted movement of a vehicle.
 
Thus speed, accelerations and decelerations, the use of brakes and headlights, indicators and safety-belts would all be factors in assessing how an accident occurred.
 
The parameters of a vehicle during a given period of usage would then be compared to the parameters recorded 30 seconds before an accident and 15 seconds afterwards. The data recorders could also be linked to GPS, to locate the vehicle. 
 
The basic model will cost around EUR 200, but one fitted with GPS and GSM connections could cost as much as EUR 1,000.
 
But the Belgian insurers association Assuralia doubts the feasibility and the effectiveness of the device, due to lack of scientific evidence.
 
Belgian car industry federation Febiac questions whether the apparatus could accurately indicate dangerous driving, such as crossing a white line or going through a red light.
 
And for its part, LLB believes that a general adoption of the device would inevitably lead to "more 'Big Brother' intrusion into citizens' lives", a spokesman said.
 
However, Brussels Autolux taxis have had black boxes on board its vehicles for several years and the company is satisfied with the system.
 
"The drivers drive more prudently, are less often involved in accidents and our insurer has decreased his premiums," Autolux deputy manager Rudy Claude said.
 
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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