Australia: Let’s Figure Out what is going Wrong on our Roads

Group@2x

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

The view an accident investigator would see from a dual-lens dashcam video recording

 

A dual lens dashcam for $99

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

Please give me your ideas below in the comments!

I would need your support along with politicians to enact these new laws. This is the part where I need your help. What do you think I should do next?

-Eve

5 Comments

  1. What should Eve Cogan do next? - on 27/01/2016 at 11:01 am

    […] Option 2: I have been thinking over another important idea for some time – mandatory Black Boxes in all new cars. Today too many young drivers are driving distracted. When an accident happens, investigators work out what happened, but not why. Was the driver sleepy? Was the driver sending an text? They can only guess. Know more […]

  2. Selwyn Garwell on 27/01/2016 at 10:51 pm

    Sounds like an excellent idea to me.Perhaps you could start with another change.org petition to begin with.A submission to the NSW roads minister (CC> media outlets) would not go astray either.

    • evecogan on 28/01/2016 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you. That is a good thought, Selwyn.

  3. Christine Negroni on 29/01/2016 at 12:11 am

    HI Eve, I have a few thoughts. First, most modern cars which are more computer than machine these days are already equipped with black boxes that provide data to the manufacturer. In the USA this information is somewhat controversial since car owners believe they should own the data rather than the manufacturer. And this information can be used against the driver in civil lawsuits.

    There’s a very interesting example of how much data can be collected and how it can be used in the dispute between Tesla (yep, tell your dad) and The New York Times over a negative review of the car back in 2013 and Tesla’s response to it. The company based its reply to the Times on real time performance data streaming from the review car to the company HQ. You can read about it here. (I’m sure it was an eye opener to many auto journalists.)

    https://www.teslamotors.com/blog/most-peculiar-test-drive

    To your second point on cameras, there’s the privacy issue as you mention. But I see an option for people convicted of driving offenses to be required to install the camera as a condition for winning back their licenses. It is not a perfect solution, since that means an accident or infraction has to occur first. But as a first step then traffic court judges should be made aware of the technology and the option to consider mandatory dash cams in the cars of certain drivers.

    New drivers are also applying for a privilege rather than exercising a right, meaning that for some number of hours they might also be required to allow a dash cam in their vehicles. I’d suggest 100 hours – since that is the period of time a young driver is most likely to get in an accident.

    As usual your ideas will open up important discussion points that will result in improved safety in the air and on the ground.

    • evecogan on 30/01/2016 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Christine

      It puts a smile on my face when I see a Huffington Post journalist comments on my blog :)

      I just read that Tesla link. I knew that Tesla’s stored quite some data, just not that much! That is a good point you have – but I want this initiative to cover all cars, young and old. In the future once everyone has modern electric cars, dash cams wont be required.

      -Eve xox

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