EU proposes 'black boxes' for taxis and buses

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The European Commission has signalled its desire to introduce 'black box' style data recorders into buses, lorries and taxis in order to improve road safety.

The EU has said it will examine the value of introducing the devices to improve technical investigations and the analysis of accidents.

Any trial would only involve 'professional vehicles' under current proposals, but there will be fears that it could eventually be extended to private cars.

The EU is considering introducing the boxes as part of its push to reduce road fatalities in Europe by half in the next decade, pointing out that as many as 35,000 people died on the roads in 2009, with four permanently disabling injuries and 10 serious injuries for every death.

As well as the data recorders, the EU has also proposed, improving new technical specifications for smart technology that could see information being shared between vehicles on traffic and speed limits.

In a bid to reduce fatal accidents, the EU is paying particular attention to motorcyclists, saying it will introduce a range of advanced brake systems, automatic headlights and anti-tampering devices to certain bikes. It is also looking at the possibility of introducing airbags to either the bikes themselves or motorcycling clothing.