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Saturday, September 09, 2006

The debate about EDRs

There has been a lot of debate lately about the use of EDRs (Event Data Recorders) and their being used in motor vehicles. Much of that debate can be found here and here. Most of the debate centers around the issue of privacy and Big Brother.

On one side, you have the people who think that the government has no place accessing that kind of information from a private motor vehicle. They think that no matter what, whatever they do in their cars is their own business and no one else’s. They tend to forget that on public roads, legally, there is no such thing as privacy. Everything that you do is on public display for everyone to see.

The other side says that these thing can only be a good thing. After all, what hit-and-run victim or collision victim would not want closure? Investigators and prosecutors also love these things. With the use of EDRs, defendants in these cases cannot lie to investigators and prosecutors and have any hope of getting away with it.

I am of the opinion that these things can only do good. They only record what happened just before a collsion and the data that they collect is quite limited in scope. This data includes the speed of the vehicle, what direction the vehicle was traveling at the time of the incident, and the G-forces involved.

The privacy advocates seem to have forgotten that EDRs are only one tool in the art of accident of reconstruction. The data they record can only be obtained with the permission of the defendant or with a courtr order. The court order is usually issued when it is believed that one party is lying. Case in point, in a previous post, I have shown an example of this. In New York, a couple of teens were street racing when they broadsided a nurse and her fiancé, killing them instantly. At the hospital, they told the arresting officer that they were doing 50 to 55 mph. But according to the telltale black box that was residing in each of their vehicle, it was revealed that they were doing closer 140 mph. Both teens were convicted of murder and are doing three years in prison.

The hope is that the privacy advocates out there will finally come to see that what they do in their vehicles effects not only them, but everyone else on the road. Until that happens, GROW UP AND SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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