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Cars recording information

Oct. 3, 2005 at 11:58 PM

DETROIT, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A majority of new cars in the United States now come equipped with computer technology that can record speed, seat-belt use and other information.

Nicknamed "black boxes," these data recorders can give crash investigators the same insights that airplane black boxes provide, the Detroit News reports. But there are also concerns about who will have access to the information and how it can be used.

Safety experts are enthusiastic.

"This really could be a breakthrough in safety," said Thomas Kowalick, who served on a National Academy of Sciences panel studying the boxes' potential to reduce fatalities. "It could be the Rosetta stone, a way of figuring out what is really happening in crashes."

Six states have passed laws limiting access to information from the black boxes. Most focus on giving control to cars' owners, not to their insurers or police.

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