TRL calls for ‘critical update’ to UK automotive legislation

07.46 | 30 August 2019 | | 2 comments

TRL is calling for data from safety systems – which record information in the seconds before, during and after a collision – to be made available to authorities, insurers and road safety researchers.

Introduced in the 1970’s, Event Data Recorders (EDRs) are present in most new vehicles. 

Typically used to record information about road traffic collisions, EDR data helps provide accurate and reliable information about the actions taken by the driver in the lead up to a collision.

TRL says in the UK and EU, the accessibility of EDR data is restricted due to a lack of up-to-date legislation – and is calling for laws governing the accessibility of EDR evidence to be changed to improve safety, reduce costs, speed up legal proceedings and save lives.

It says EDR data will become even more important in a connected and automated future as systems become increasingly complex.

Dean Beaumont, accident reconstruction consultant for TRL’s expert witness team, said: “Physical evidence and CCTV footage is vital in the reconstruction of road traffic collisions. 

“However, EDR’s provide important information about the movements of a vehicle before, during and after a collision event that, in many cases, could not be obtained from any other source.

“When analysed by a suitably qualified expert, EDR data allows for a detailed and more accurate investigation into road traffic collisions, specifically in regard to causation and liability. 

“In the UK and EU, manufacturers are slowly allowing access to this data, but this only applies to a very small number of vehicles. Sharing of EDR data should not be placed above lives in serious and fatal collisions.”



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    For many years, police forces in other countries have been doing this (via the air bag module I believe). If used in the UK, it could be a step forward in making Stats 19 actually worth bothering with.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

    This would be huge step forward in establishing civil and criminal liability for driver’s actions in the time immediately before a crash. It would also build up a very accurate picture of vehicle speeds before crashes and their influence on the consequences of a crash.

    With speed limiters mandatory on all new cars from 2022 it will also establish whether pre-meditated action had been taken to disable the limiter and whether the legal limit had been exceeded before crashing.

    Rod King, Lymm
    Agree (6) | Disagree (2)

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