Back in December NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) said they were considering a law that would require all new vehicles manufactured from 2014 on come equipped with a little black box. At first I thought they were refering to the early 90's disco group.
A little Black Box, a little Stevie B, seems odd they would want to make it a law, but....oh not that black box. The "black box" which the government is talking about is technically called an Electronic Data Recorder, which works like the black box of an airplane. It records everything that's happening so later on they can determine what caused the crash. Most new cars since 2010 already come with one. The ABC story I read at the time mentioned how the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts had lied about his accident and later was ticketed. Timothy Murray had totaled his car in a single vehicle accident late at night. He told police he wasn't speeding and was wearing a seat belt. They didn't press charges. Turns out the black box showed he was averaging 75 in a 65 and accelerated to 100 MPH just before the accident. And he wasn't wearing his seat-belt. He didn't contest the findings and paid a $555 fine.
Some people love Black Boxes! A group of young people are signing up for a new insurance called Black Box Insurance. As you know young people are looked at as high risk because in general they are reckless. But these drivers allow the insurance company to monitor their driving habits and thus pay lower rates! Pretty awesome!
However The Electronic Frontier Foundation is very concerned about the government having access to this information. Some things the EFF is proposing for example; the black boxes should be required to instantly delete everything but the last minute of a vehicles driving. That the information recorded is the property of the owner of the vehicle and the owner can't be legally compelled to provide it to authorities.
Some people see this as protecting the guilty. If the black box can prove that a car suspected of being involved in a hit & run, in fact did hit something or someone while speeding, then we can get a guilty person off the road which makes all of us safer.
I on the other hand look at all authority somewhat distrusting. While I tend to believe the best about people (which hasn't always worked out so well for me), I look at a body with authority as easily corruptible. Do I trust Nikki Haley to not screw me over? A tentative yes. Do I trust the state of SC to not screw me over? No way! I believe citizens are better served not trusting in the government. Because the more you trust them, the more likely you are to turn power over to them. If they have your best interest at heart, what could go wrong, said every society who was lead down the wrong path by a government with too much power.
So if you, like I, agree that this is another power grab by government and would like to express your opinion on it before they rule, today is the final day. Yes they have been very quiet about this, but I found a link that NHTSA set up and buried on a website that allows the public to share their concerns. Only 889 comments have been recieved! And today is the final day you can do that! So click the link and tell the government what you think about their black box proposal.
After you do that you can enjoy Family Guy's version of Black Box.