Congress is gearing up for a comprehensive overhaul of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, implementing some significant safety measures for automobiles along the way. The campaign, encouraged by safety advocates for over a year now, has gained significant ground as the Senate Commerce Committee endorsed a series of measures which it will seek to incorporate into a highway reauthorization bill due for approval early in the new year.

According to The Detroit News, measures approved by the committee include significantly stiffer fines for automakers delaying necessary recalls. Currently the maximum fine that can be imposed in such instances is $17.35 million, but the new regulations would up that to a whopping $250 million. Naturally, many automakers are opposing this particular measure, but they are, however, backing an additional regulation that would equip all new vehicles with 'black box' data recorders.

Automakers aren't the only ones targeted by the new measures, however, as the new regulations would also increase fines for using electronic devices (like mobile phones) while behind the wheel, and up the penalty tenfold for fraudulently rolling back a car's odometer.

The bill, sponsored by two Democrat senators, would take at least a year to be put into effect should it be voted into law.


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  • 24 Comments
      thedriveatfive
      • 3 Years Ago
      Crap like black boxes will only end when people choose to see which candidates vote for them then proceed to not reelect them.
      BG
      • 3 Years Ago
      A black box recording data in every car? Soon there will be a hacking industry that can change the data in the box, similar to how specialty tuners can change engine management parameters in the onboard computer. Drive 100 mph? No problem, hook it up and roll it back to 60.
      Repeal_The_Va_Radar_
      • 3 Years Ago
      Black Box recorders do nothing for safety. The only purpose they serve is to be used against the driver. In case of a crash, the information will be downloaded and used to charge the driver with some crime. It will also be used by the insurance companies to increase insurance rates...I will find some way to disable the device and make it look like it was defective.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yay, black boxes. And as you know, it's a federal-level crime to remove safety or emissions equipment. This is a rarely enforced law. But let's see how long it takes for someone to receive a felony charge for removing theirs after a crash or some other incident. Our rights are being removed one by one by our govt.. If you have an older car, give it some love guys.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        [blocked]
      T. C.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That should read "Democratic Senators," please fix the typo.
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 3 Years Ago
      More busy work busy work by our wonderful elected officials to give us the illusion that they are actually doing something. Some of it (mandated black boxes) wreaks of special interests which I thought Obama said he is "going to throw special interests out of Washing when I am president". Oh well, Washington is clueless, which I guess is why it's easier for them to focus on frivolous junk like this than it is to try and solve real issues.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 3 Years Ago
        @LUSTSTANG S-197
        Haha.. so Obama duped you too. You have to look pretty hard for the info, but the Democrats are just as corrupt as the republicans. They just hide it better.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          [blocked]
      Jason Sieben
      • 3 Years Ago
      Do the union workers get to share in the fines when one of the vehicles they produce result in recall, or do the automakers get stiffed with this entire bill? Seems only fair that the workers building the vehicles have a hand in ensuring quality built products and thus the fines for recalls.
      kopter28
      • 3 Years Ago
      Here is hoping they mandate amber turn signals! I hate the crap red turn signals even European car manufacturers are putting in car destined for the US market. There are many studies showing amber tun signals provide significant safety gains.
      mhappyapple
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a Nissan Rogue that vibrates when the tachometer reaches 1.25. This is usually while driving in the city. Nissan says it's normal. Is there anyone else around that has this problem and is bothered by it. Actually I'm waiting for something to shake off the car. I do mostly city driving. This is a problem and Nissan ignores it because if someone were to prove it was a problem it would cost them a lot of money.
      Kevin Gregerson
      • 3 Years Ago
      As long the black boxes being tampered with won't trigger a CEL I'm okay with them being installed because I will remove them at the dealer before leaving the parking lot and throw it in the trash. Or, I'll just fry the connection to the flash memory chip so there is nothing in the memory. Anyone asks, and its a privacy concern. Same reason I don't use my work phone and forward all calls to my personal phone. Privacy. It's not going to help the performance of my vehicle when I modify it so why have it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kevin Gregerson
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      IOMTT
      • 3 Years Ago
      But who is watching the government?
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