MV Black Box Bill Signed

Last week, the governor signed into law a bill limiting access to Event Data Recorders, commonly referred to as a "black box" in a motor vehicle. It's not an entirely accurate name, because it only records the last few seconds of data about a vehicle before a collision.  The bill applies to data including the “speed of the motor vehicle or the direction in which the vehicle is traveling, or both; vehicle location data; vehicle steering performance; vehicle brake performance including, but not limited to, whether brakes were applied before a crash; driver's seatbelt status; and information concerning a crash in which the motor vehicle has been involved.”

In civil practice, the data is supposed to be obtained through the regular discovery process.

It's a little different for criminal practice: it creates a privacy interest in the data (but not any audio or video). For law enforcement to get takes a search warrant or consent, or just a Grand Jury subpoena if all they are looking for is location data.  Two things: Although the bill only names consent as an exception to the warrant requirement, I doubt the legislature intended to statutorily limit the exceptions the State can assert. But you never know. Similarly, the bill enumerates the penalty at up to $5000 for a person who violates. I also doubt the legislature intended to exclude the exclusionary rule from applying to violations. But again, you never know.

CLICK HERE to see the bill.