NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


June 10, 2004

Washington, D. C. - The National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Ellen Engleman Conners today said that the proposed standard requirements for Event Data Recorders (EDR) that manufacturers choose to install in light vehicles issued today by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are "an important step forward in addressing crash data, emergency response, and accident analysis issues regarding accidents on our nation's highways."

The proposed requirements address some concerns raised by the Board in a 1996 Safety Board Study of the performance and use of child restraint systems, seatbelts, and air bags for children in passenger vehicles. In that report, the Safety Board observed that the advent of modern electronics and high volume production levels of air bag vehicles could provide significant real world crash data at minimal cost. Therefore, the Safety Board recommended that NHTSA and the Domestic and International Automobile Manufacturers work together to:

* Develop and implement a plan to gather better information on crash pulses and other crash parameters in actual crashes, utilizing current or augmented crash sensing and recording devices.

"I am gratified to see that NHTSA has taken a proactive posture regarding rules for electronic data recorders in light duty vehicles," said Chairman Engleman Conners. "Our recommendations called for such action consistent with current scientific knowledge. The Safety Board will carefully review the new rules to see how closely they address our recommendations, but I see this as an important step toward addressing crash data, and the safety improvements that can result from that data, on our nation's highways. For decades, the Safety Board has realized and promoted the benefits of event data recorders in all modes of transportation. I am heartened to see that the benefits of event data recorders will now impact the largest segment of our driving population, the light duty vehicle drivers."

NTSB Media Contact:
Keith Holloway
(202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.