Friday, 5 February 2010

Why every car should have a black box data recorder

An Irish road racing cyclist died after his bike was hit by a speeding motorist hurrying to catch a flight from Belfast International Airport, a court heard yesterday.

Groome told police he was driving at between 40 and 45 miles an hour,
but eye-witnesses would testify that he overtook them at higher speeds.

If the driver’s car had been fitted with a data recorder we would know precisely what his speed was before the collision and during the time it occurred. This would put an end to courts having to rely on driver’s highly partial assessments of their own speed, and the equally subjective impressions of eye-witnesses.

But the car lobby has always resisted the compulsory introduction of data recorders, whining that it would add to the cost of a new car. No government has ever been prepared to stand up to the car and road lobbies and black box data recorders are usually excluded from all discussion of ‘road safety’, which prefers to concentrate on telling cyclists to dress up in reflective yellow gear and instructing children that it’s their responsibility to keep out of the way of inattentive drivers manipulating a ton of metal.