San Francisco to Require ‘Black Boxes’ in Cars

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

On Tuesday, San Francisco supervisors unanimously passed legislation that will require about 80 percent of the city’s vehicle fleet to install black boxes, or telematics, in order to hold city workers accountable for their driving.

The ordinance, led by Supervisor Norman Yee, arrives in the wake of several fatal collisions that were the fault of city vehicles or vehicles that are contracted with the city, according to Bay Area public radio station KQED.

“We will know what you’re doing, will know where you’re going, and we will now how fast you’re going,” Yee reportedly said.

Telematics refers to a network of wireless devices, which includes black box technologies, that conveys data back to the source organization in real time. Telematics technology has reportedly been successful in reducing accidents in congested cities like London and New York.

The technology will reportedly cost San Francisco around $1.3 million to install, and $1.8 million to maintain on an annual basis. However, the measure could help reduce costs dramatically over the long run, considering nearly $77 million was reportedly paid of in city vehicle-related legal claims over the last five years.

KQED notes that Yee explained his passion for the issue recalling a near-fatal experience on the day after Christmas in 2006, when he was hit by a car while walking, leaving him critically injured. The recent deaths of two San Francisco residents by city-contracted vehicles also spurred the move.

Most vehicles have a type of black box in them. Individuals wishing to see whether their car has a black box can check out the following wesbite, which lists the year, make and model of almost every car that has one.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz



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