Carol's Chaotic Collection of Curiosities

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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Red Lights, Black Boxes, and Buicks

"What's next, a chip in our cars that tracks everything that we do wrong?" - Mark Stollenwerk

Well, since you asked... Same newspaper, same day:

The detective then removed the black box—actually silver, in this case—from the Buick's center console. The device helps deploy the car's air bags and monitors various systems. During a crash, it collects the last five seconds of data—ranging from the car's speed to its throttle position—and locks the information into its memory. Most General Motors and Ford vehicles carry such recorders. About 33 million cars on U.S. roads, or 15 percent, have them, according to the automotive industry. - Car-Crash Investigators Partner With Computers

Of course, countering Mr. Stollenwerk's contention that red light cameras violate civil liberties, my thinking is that if you're out in public, you should assume witnesses! Whether or not the witness is a camera is incidental.

Interestingly enough, the accident being investigated in the second article was caused by someone running a red light. I guess Mr. Stollenwerk will be more concerned about the rights of the driver who caused the accident (male, age 22—driving a Buick?!) than the rights of the victim, who was killed while following the rules. (Hmmm... Wonder if there was a red light camera in action at that intersection?)

P.S. I will concede that I am prejudiced against Buicks. Used to have a job where I was driving about 300 miles a day. One thing I learned from that experience is that Buicks seem to influence their drivers into all sorts of strange and annoying antics on the road! Actually, speeding to beat a light is the most normal thing I've heard of in the realm of Buick Behavior! That car going 20 miles under the speed limit with the signal flashing even though they don't turn? Probably a Buick. Those folks who stop at every light—even if it's green? Probably a Buick.

9:26:30 AM    

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© Copyright 2005 Carol Andrus.
Last update: 8/25/2005; 4:46:04 PM.


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