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Originally published July 22 2004

Automobile black boxes nail speeders and dangerous drivers by recording speeds and driving habits

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Although I remain a strong supporter of personal privacy, I believe that black box technology in automobiles is an excellent idea that should be used in the United States, too. Why? Because there are far too many dangerous drivers who know they can get away with unsafe driving habits simply because no one's watching. Furthermore, public roadways are not a "private" venue in my book.

Public awareness of automobile black boxes surged recently when a Canadian teenager driver who collided with another vehicle (killing the occupant) was busted by black box data that revealed he was traveling at 157kph. Canadian courts accepted the black box data as evidence, and the teen was convicted.

This is a good thing. When dangerous drivers are caught by smart technology, convicted of their crimes, and taken off the streets, the world is a safer place for us all. If anything, good drivers should want black boxes in their vehicles to prove their own innocence in automobile accidents.

By the way, these black boxes aren't tracking devices. They don't upload data to the police or satellites. They simply record the vehicle's speed, acceleration and other data, just like airplane black boxes. They can only be analyzed AFTER the fact, where they can be used to bolster the driver's claims of what really happened. Much the same can be accomplished with a car video camera, too.

Vehicle black boxes represent good technology that offers the potential for greatly improving the safety of public roadways without violating the privacy of drivers. People who drive dangerously do not have the right to keep that fact private, since they are publicly endangering the lives of other drivers. Likewise, people who speed or who run red lights do not have the right to keep those driving practices secret. It should all be on the record as far as I'm concerned.

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