A Texas Congressmen said he plans to introduce legislation mandating the fitment of black boxes, also called event data recorders, to new cars and trucks. General Motors Co. has endorsed the proposal of U.S. Rep. Gene Green, a Democrat.
Although the federal government currently does not mandate fitment of black boxes, NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has issued rules that apply to them when they are voluntarily installed by automakers. One such rule is that automakers tell new-car buyers if a black box has been fitted. Another is that for each of 15 main parameters and for each of 30 special-condition parameters, black boxes record data at a parameter-specific sampling rate and for a parameter-specific duration.
Unlike the current rule, Green's proposal would require reporting of black-box data to NHTSA. Currently, NHTSA requests black-box data from car owners. The agency uses the voluntarily supplied data to support development of new safety regulations.