U.S. PROPOSES BROADER USE OF VEHICLE EVENT DATA RECORDERS

     (The following press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation 
was received by e-mail. The sender verified the statement.) 
U.S. DOT Proposes Broader Use of Event Data Recorders to Help Improve Vehicle 
Safety
Requirement aims to capture valuable safety-related information in seconds 
before and during a motor vehicle crash 
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic 
Safety Administration (NHTSA) today proposed a new standard that would capture 
valuable safety-related data in the seconds before and during a motor vehicle 
crash. The proposed rule would require automakers to install event data 
recorders (EDRs)-devices that collect specific safety related data-in all light 
passenger vehicles beginning September 1, 2014. 
"By understanding how drivers respond in a crash and whether key safety systems 
operate properly, NHTSA and automakers can make our vehicles and our roadways 
even safer," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "This proposal will give 
us the critical insight and information we need to save more lives." 
NHTSA estimates that approximately 96 percent of model year 2013 passenger cars 
and light-duty vehicles are already equipped with EDR capability. These devices 
are located in the vehicle and require special hardware and software to 
download the information. A crash or air bag deployment typically triggers the 
EDR, which collects data in the seconds before and during a crash. The data 
collected by EDRs can be used to improve highway safety by ensuring NHTSA, 
other crash investigators and automotive manufacturers understand the dynamics 
involved in a crash and the performance of safety systems. 
Examples of some of the information recorded include: 
*vehicle speed; 
*whether the brake was activated in the moments before a crash; 
*crash forces at the moment of impact; 
*information about the state of the engine throttle; 
*air bag deployment timing and air bag readiness prior to the crash; and 
*whether the vehicle occupant's seat belt was buckled. 
EDRs do not collect any personal identifying information or record 
conversations and do not run continuously. 
"EDRs provide critical safety information that might not otherwise be available 
to NHTSA to evaluate what happened during a crash-and what future steps could 
be taken to save lives and prevent injuries," said NHTSA Administrator David 
Strickland. "A broader EDR requirement would ensure the agency has the 
safety-related information it needs to determine what factors may contribute to 
crashes across all vehicle manufacturers."
The new safety regulation proposed today would require EDRs as mandatory 
equipment in passenger vehicles that weigh less than 8,500 pounds. The proposal 
includes the same standardized data collection requirements established by 
NHTSA in 2006 for EDRs that are voluntarily installed by automakers (49 CFR 
Part 563) and mandates that automakers provide a commercially available tool 
for downloading the data. In keeping with NHTSA's current policies on EDR data, 
the information would be treated by NHTSA as the property of the vehicle owner 
and would not be used or accessed by the agency without owner consent.
Members of the public are encouraged to provide comment on NHTSA's EDR proposal 
and will have 60 days to do so once the proposal is published in the Federal 
Register. The proposal and information on how to submit comments are available 
here<http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/rulemaking/pdf/EDR_NPRM_2012-12-07.pdf>. 
Contact: Karen Aldana
Tel:  202-366-9550 
(rml) NY