Don’t Crash Your Vehicle in Georgia!

Don’t Crash Your Vehicle in Georgia!

The Great Seal of the State of Georgia cites wisdom, justice and moderation. All three will be tested soon during 4TH AMENDMENT oral arguments over motor vehicle event data recorders (EDRs) data at the Georgia Supreme Court.

One line of argument will be whether law enforcement can download crash data immediately at the crash site or whether only after issuing a warrant citing probable cause.

The legal findings will affect everyone involved in motor crashes in Georgia even if they reside elsewhere in America.

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia web site notes there were 385,221 crashes in 2015 (latest year on record).

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) web site cites “Seventeen states–Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington–have enacted statutes relating to event data recorders and privacy.”

The Driver’s Privacy Act of 2015 “Declares that any data in an event data recorder required to be installed in a passenger motor vehicle (as provided for under Department of Transportation [DOT] regulations concerning the collection, storage, and retrievability of onboard motor vehicle crash event data) is the property of the owner or lessee of the vehicle in which the recorder is installed, regardless of when the vehicle was manufactured.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Standards Association (IEEE/SA) created a global standard (IEEE-1616a) to safeguard access to crash data.

A simple solution would be for the Georgia Supreme Court to require that automakers provide motorists a means to secure access to the OBD download port pre-crash and if they do not then for the automakers to provide law enforcement a means to lock it down post-crash – sort of like yellow tape at a crime scene to protect the evidence.

Crash data speaks for the victims who cannot. It should be protected and used fairly.

Thomas M. Kowalick is Chair of IEEE-1616a, author of FATAL EXIT: The Automotive Black Box Debate (Wiley) and Founder at AIRMIKA INC., the manufacturer of the AUTOCYB – vehicle cyber security lock.


under development with NXP

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