Motorists- beware. A U.S. Senate transportation bill (S. 1813) is currently being negotiated in the U.S. House and Senate, and the Senate recently inserted a provision in the bill that would mandate the use of black boxes in all vehicles starting with the 2015 model year.
While this may not mean much for some motorists, it's a sign of what's coming: more government insight into how you drive your vehicle. According to
The Newspaper, "Under text of S. 1813, also known as MAP-21, the information stored on an event data recorder could be retrieved under a court order "in the furtherance of a legal proceeding," by employees of the Department of Transportation in the event of an accident, and by anyone "for the purpose of determining the need for, or facilitating, emergency medical response." Two years after enactment, transportation officials would initiate a rulemaking to expand the amount of data collected and require "an interoperable data access port to facilitate universal accessibility and analysis."
While the box would remain property of the vehicle owner, courts and law enforcement would be allowed access to the box when a judge or official wants to access the data harbored within. Before you know it, you could be pulled over and an officer could check the black box for speeding or other violations. It's simply another concern with government looking at your life.
Such black boxes in the years ahead could also incorporate additional new technology that would track a vehicle via GPS and perhaps the government, looking for ways to supplant lost gasoline taxes, may start taxing you on the amount of miles you drive. The point here is that not only should motorists be concerned about mandated black boxes, but as technology continues to explode, what else the government will do with that data, and if they implement any additional features down the road.