6th Jan, 2017
As you might expect, we like to keep an eye on the motor industry here at Scrap Car Network, and recently that same industry has announced some big changes. In March 2015, the European Union made a dramatic step in matters of car safety; under international EU law, any cars sold in member states from March 2018 will have a black box device fitted as standard. The reactions to it have been mixed – it’s heralded by some as a new invention that will save more lives on our roads, while others worry about its privacy implications. So what exactly is it, and how does it work?
Installed as standard, you car’s black box will track your movements, transmitting your location in the event of a crash. Access will take the form of an SOS button near the dashboard, which will allow drivers to instantly call an emergency number. If the airbags are deployed, the hardware will interpret that as a signal to send a text message to the relevant emergency services.
The foremost principle behind its design is to make it easier for these response vehicles to find your vehicle in the event of a crash, especially in remote rural areas. Motorists won’t be able to switch the black box off, and it’ll be tested as part of routine MOT checks. Officials in Brussels have stated that the system will save up to 2,500 lives a year.
Some scrap car dealers are already salvaging these devices from write-offs. Already being fitted as a condition to some insurance policies, black boxes have proven to be effective enforcement devices, cutting accident rates by 20% on average amongst people who drive as part of their jobs. Proponents also point out that they will help collate accident data in a quicker, more accurate fashion, allowing experts and statisticians better understanding of injury causes and mechanisms on the road. What’s more, they appear to be achieving their primary aim of reducing accident response times, with officials estimating that they will halve rural response times, and cut them in urban areas by up to 60% – which could make all the difference between life and death in an emergency.
However, not everyone has been quite so thrilled at the introduction of the technology, with some taking issue at the lack of control motorists have over its function. There are fears especially that the black box’s capability to monitor and broadcasting data about where, when and how people are driving could give rise to privacy issues.
Emma Carr, of the pressure group Big Brother Watch, was quoted as saying “there’s a clear risk that once the device is installed, drivers will lose total control over who has access to their data – and how they will use it. Forcing motorists to have a device in their car which is capable of recording and transmitting their driving habits is totally unacceptable.”
But whatever you think of black boxes, one way or another we’re likely to see mass deployment of them on our roads in the very near future. In the event that you decide to finally say scrap my car, you don’t need to worry – all of our partners salvage devices like these as part of our service so that they can be reused or resold, cutting down on the amount of electronic waste our facilities produce. Scrapping your car with us couldn’t be easier – just enter your details into our website for an instant quote!
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