Australia: Let’s Figure Out what is going Wrong on our Roads
I want to reduce the number of car deaths on our roads. I have been thinking about this important idea for some time – mandatory Black Boxes in all new cars. How many times do you notice people honk other people at lights once they have turned green? Why can’t the driver see the green light himself? Because he is looking at his phone. That is annoying, but it takes a more sinister turn once their foot touches the accelerator.
Today too many young drivers are driving distracted. When an accident happens, police and investigators work out what happened, but not why. Was the driver sleepy? Was the driver sending a text? They can only guess.
We wouldn’t find it acceptable for the airplanes we fly in to not have a black box installed, so why is it okay for cars? Each year only a handful of Australian’s are killed in commercial planes, but over a thousand are killed on our roads. I think all new cars should have an important safety device installed.
A good dash cam can be purchased for under $200. A dual-lens dashcam would be massively helpful in an accident investigation. I believe that investigators should be able to see the recording of the road in front of the car and what was happening inside the car for the 1 minute prior to the accident. Investigators need enough information so they know exactly whose fault it was.
The view an accident investigator would see from a dual-lens dashcam video recording
Here is a dual lens dashcam for $99. There are even better brands such as blackvue
Obviously there are privacy implications and the availability of recordings should be limited to accidents. Just like pilots had to overcome the fear of being recorded in the 1960’s drivers, drivers need to do the same now, some 50 years later.
The implementation needs to be fleshed out and this would take time. I have talked to many people about compulsory dashcams and everyone has a different idea on what they would consider acceptable. I think the more compressive the dashcam, the better the discount the government gives on registration each year. Here are some examples:
a. forward facing cameras only (single lens) = 50% less rego each year
b. internal cameras as well (dual lens) = 70% less rego each year
c. make black boxes compulsory for drivers with multiple driving offenses
d. make black boxes compulsory for new drivers for the first year