Feds seek 'black boxes' in all vehicles by 2014 - Fox 2 News Headlines

Feds seek 'black boxes' in all vehicles by 2014

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Flight data recorders are black boxes that record crash information in airplanes, and now one federal agency wants to require them in new vehicles.

They're called event data recorders, and they've been around for more than a decade but the technology keeps improving. Ninety-two percent of vehicles made in 2010 already have this technology.
    
More and more local investigators are using the black boxes in fatal wrecks to help them prove their case and put criminals behind bars.

Lt. Wade Chaffin of the Georgia State patrol has reviewed a 2008 case where two University of West Georgia graduates were ejected and killed. Together with the roadway evidence, troopers pulled the information off the Chevy Impala's event data recorder.

"The module has brought a new witness to the table," said Chaffin.

The data showed the 23-year-old driver never hit the brakes before running off the road, killing the two back seat passengers. He's serving 30 years for vehicular homicide.

"You're wanting to get family's answers, and you want to try to make some sense out of a senseless situation, and a lot of times it's difficult, this just helps paint that picture," Chaffin said.

The crash data is tied in to the car's computers and in most cases, help control the airbags.

"If it's going to know when to fire the bags, it's having to calculate and gather vehicle information -- real time. And I'm talking quick real time," said Chaffin.

The technology is constantly improving, and providing more and more information. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration wants to require them in all new cars by September 2014. They believe it saves lives, painting a picture of why and how wrecks happen.

Chaffin says the technology confirms their field work, and makes investigating fatal wrecks even more detailed.

"It really validates a lot of the stuff we've already done. There's a difference between accuracy and precision and this kind of brings the preciseness to the entire investigation," Chaffin said.

Most cars made in the 2000's and newer have this technology. The box may always be on, but it's not recording your every move -- only significant impacts. It can record vehicle speed, if the brakes were used, state of the engine, and if the seatbelts were being used or not.
    
Officers must have the owner's consent or get a search warrant to pull the information off the recorder. Certain organizations, like the American Civil Liberties Union want even more safeguards in place so insurance companies can't access the information.

  • Good Day ArchiveMore>>

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Recipes: A healthy take on Southern favorites

    Recipes: A healthy take on Southern favorites

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 12:39 PM EDT2014-09-16 16:39:34 GMT
    We challenged chef Curtis Aikens to lighten up two Southern classics, starting with sweet potato pie.Which usually involves a couple of sticks of butter, loads of sugar and buttermilk.
    We challenged chef Curtis Aikens to lighten up two Southern classics, starting with sweet potato pie.Which usually involves a couple of sticks of butter, loads of sugar and buttermilk.
  • FOX Comedies Return To Tuesday Night

    FOX Comedies Return To Tuesday Night

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:36 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:36:32 GMT
     Two of the hottest comedies on FOX return Tuesday night, so get ready for some new laughs with old friends!   First up, "New Girl" is
    Two of the hottest comedies on FOX return Tuesday night, so get ready for some new laughs with old friends! First up, "New Girl" is back for a fourth season, and cast members say expect a bit of a "reboot" of the series. What does that mean? Star H
  • Get Ready To "Rock" At Johns Creek Music School

    Get Ready To "Rock" At Johns Creek Music School

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:01 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:01:43 GMT
    It's a unique music school where kids jam out to The Beatles and Green Day, and learning to play an instrument also means learning to play with others.
     It's a unique music school where kids jam out to The Beatles and Green Day, and learning to play an instrument also means learning to play with others. There are nearly 150 School of Rock locations around the world, and now there's one in Johns Creek.
  • Katie Beasley's storiesMore>>

  • Good Day Atlanta

    Study: Fewer teens getting their driver's license

    Study: Fewer teens getting their driver's license

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-09-16 11:48:27 GMT
    Fewer teenage drivers are eager to get behind the wheel. AAA's research shows less than half of teenagers are getting their license in the first year they're eligible.
    Fewer teenage drivers are eager to get behind the wheel. AAA's research shows less than half of teenagers are getting their license in the first year they're eligible.
  • SKYFOX Traffic

    Tips for navigating around Georgia Dome traffic

    Tips for navigating around Georgia Dome traffic

    Thursday, August 21 2014 9:16 AM EDT2014-08-21 13:16:27 GMT
    For the next three years, if you plan to be anywhere near the Georgia Dome, expect delays and plan ahead. That's the word from officials as we head into fall, the Dome's busiest time of the year.
    For the next three years, if you plan to be anywhere near the Georgia Dome, expect delays and plan ahead. That's the word from officials as we head into fall, the Dome's busiest time of the year.
  • SKYFOX Traffic

    Small windshield crack could cause big problems

    Small windshield crack could cause big problems

    Thursday, August 14 2014 9:18 AM EDT2014-08-14 13:18:04 GMT
    It's one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. We're not talking about tires or your steering wheel, we're talking about your windshield.
    It's one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. We're not talking about tires or your steering wheel, we're talking about your windshield.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices