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  1. #1
    Precambrian Theophylact's Avatar
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    Your car is gonna rat you out --

    and sometimes we're gonna be real glad:
    Driver gets 18 months in jail for speeding that killed man
    Black box crucial. Recorder showed no attempt to brake

    MIKE KING
    The Gazette

    Thursday, April 15, 2004

    The Montreal motorist betrayed by his car's black box has been sent to jail for dangerous driving causing death.

    Eric Gauthier, 26, was sentenced yesterday to 18 months behind bars - less than a week before the third anniversary of his smashing into another vehicle at more than three times the speed limit.

    "No sentence can replace the loss of this young man," Quebec Court Judge Louise Bourdeau said of victim Yacine Zinet in handing down her decision.

    Zinet's family was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

    His sister, Belinda Matthey, told reporters she "was sure (Gauthier) was just going to serve his sentence in the community" after the judge listed a dozen cases from between August 1999 and November 2002 in which drivers convicted of the same offence were spared imprisonment.

    "I think this will be an example to others," Matthey said outside the courtroom as she stood with her mother.

    "They have to know there is (prison time) at the end of the line," she added. "A criminal act was committed - it wasn't an accident."

    But defence lawyer Marie-France La Haye hinted she may appeal the "very, very severe" sentence.

    "He'll have trouble dealing with this the rest of his life," La Haye said. "He was starting to make progress. Now he'll have to start from zero."

    When Gauthier rammed into Zinet's car at the intersection of Ste. Catherine and Alphonse D. Roy Sts. shortly before 1 a.m. on April 19, 2001, his Pontiac Sunfire was travelling at 157 kilometres per hour. The limit is 50 km/h.

    Besides killing the first-year student at the Ecole des hautes etudes commerciales, the impact left his passenger Martin Larouche with a broken arm, fractured ribs and a bruised knee.

    Gauthier was given an additional nine-month sentence for the injuries to Larouche, to be served at the same time as his longer jail term. He is also barred from driving for the next three years.

    Matthey didn't agree with the judge's assessment Gauthier expressed great guilt and showed empathy toward his victim's family.

    "We'll never be able to forgive him," she said. "A normal human being would have shown remorse sooner and apologized." Instead, "he tried to protect himself, saying it was an accident."

    Matthey also noted Gauthier didn't give his regrets to her family until he was on trial.

    She was most thankful to police using information culled from the data recorder, better known as a black box, from Gauthier's car.

    "Without it, we wouldn't have known what happened."

    The recording device, which stores data on how a car is driven in the last five seconds before a collision, showed four seconds before impact, Gauthier had the gas pedal to the floor. He didn't brake before impact.
    Actually, 18 months seems insufficient to me...

  2. #2
    Ultimate Member osprey4's Avatar
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    If this had happened in the US, his attorney would be screaming "violation of privacy rights!!"

  3. #3
    hehe..it may rat you out in more ways than you realize http://www.informationweek.com/story...94&_loopback=1
    "Even a fool is thought to be wise if he is silent"

  4. #4
    Light to Counter the Dim MTAtech's Avatar
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    I think Corvettes have black boxes that record speed info.
    Conservatives: "If the facts disagree with our opinion, ignore the facts -- or at least misrepresent them."

  5. #5
    Light to Counter the Dim MTAtech's Avatar
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    Conservatives: "If the facts disagree with our opinion, ignore the facts -- or at least misrepresent them."

  6. #6
    Ultimate Member elroy's Avatar
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    Does anyone know if these can be disconnected or sabotaged? My current vehicles are not on the list of affected cars but my next car may be.
    “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
    Benjamin Franklin

  7. #7
    Smile. It's easy. :) paul9's Avatar
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    Originally posted by osprey4
    If this had happened in the US, his attorney would be screaming "violation of privacy rights!!"
    don't think this would get an attorney anywhere. the purchaser knew the device was in the vehicle, it may even have been a selling point. the info from the device wasn't shared with anyone, except the police, court, prosecution and defence, as physical evidence of a crime. i am not a lawyer, but i'd be willing to bet that these points would be used to beat down any violation of privacy issues in any country. just today, www.thesun.co.uk newspaper started again to campaign for tougher sentences for drivers who kill people by dangerous and careless driving. some of the sentences handed out in the uk for this are ridiculous, and then the defendant usually gets a reduction on appeal.

  8. #8
    Per aspera ad astra Socalgal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the list, MTAtech. That's a 2002 list....

    *edit:
    Here's a list that includes 2003-2004. It's the .pdf
    http://www.harristechnical.com/cdr2.htm
    http://www.harristechnical.com/downloads/cdrlist.pdf

    Is it only American branded cars or are European/Japanese/other countries doing this? I won't be buying any car that has one, that's for sure, lol., Some of them can tell if your seat belt is buckled...

    RFID is the beginning of the end of any privacy as we now know it, imo.. (or what little we have left of it, that is)

  9. #9
    Precambrian Theophylact's Avatar
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    Update!
    On Monday, a Florida woman was arrested in a hit-and-run incident, according to local media. The woman, Cathy Burnstein, fled the scene after she allegedly rear-ended Anna Preston, who was taken to the hospital with back injuries. Shortly after Preston reported the accident to the police, a local 911 operator received an automated call from Burnstein’s Ford Focus’ crash-notification system. Burnstein continually denied being in an accident, but the dispatcher wasn’t buying it.

    “I did not hit anyone,” Burnstein said during the 911 call.

    The dispatcher responded: “Well, why did your car call us saying that you’d been involved in an accident then?”

    Burnstein didn’t have a good answer for that, and ultimately, she admitted to the hit-and-run. The car system that helped implicate her is called 911 Assist, and it’s been integrated into most Ford vehicles since 2010. If an airbag is deployed, as Burnstein’s was, the system automatically calls 911 through the driver’s Bluetooth-paired phone. Burnstein would have had to set up the program herself—a choice she’s probably regretting now.

    Built-in cellular-connected systems aren’t new—GM launched OnStar nearly 20 years ago—but they’re becoming more ubiquitous. And they might even become a mandatory safety features in all U.S. cars soon, following the European Parliament’s decision in April requiring all cars to have an automated emergency service by 2018.

    This could make car accidents less deadly by getting ambulances to the scene quicker. But as Slate’s Will Oremus pointed out about Tesla’s autopilot, some iterations of the new car-tech wave could be riskier than they’re worth.
    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. -- Martin Luther King Jr.

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