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Transportation Department to propose mandatory black boxes in passenger vehicles?

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A few years back, the Department of Transportation recommended that auto makers give car owners a heads up when they slip event data recorders -- also known as "black boxes" -- into new models. Now, it looks like the department is considering taking its policy a step (or several) further: a memo reveals that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to propose later this year that all new passenger vehicles have EDRs. So far, heavy-duty vehicles appear to be excluded, and either way, it's unclear how many years auto makers might have to work black boxes into their future models. Interestingly, when we asked a DoT staffer for clarification, he reminded us that the agency hasn't issued a press release and said he wasn't sure where Wired and other outlets were getting their information. Indeed, the Transportation Department hasn't proposed such a law yet, though it's pretty safe to say it's at least pondering it. Hit the source link to pore over the 197-page doc for yourselves (tip: we suggesting paying particular attention to page 54). [Warning: PDF source link]

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