Moriarty Bill to Limit Use of Motor Vehicle-Recording Device Data Advances in the Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Camden, Gloucester) to limit access to data recorded by motor vehicle-recording devices, such as event data recorders was recently approved by an Assembly panel.

The sponsor notes the intent of the bill is to preserve the data stored in vehicle black boxes also known as “electronic control modules” (ECMs) or “event data recorders” (EDRs).

“The preservation of electronic data from any of these sources is becoming vital to the defense of litigation in accidents,” Moriarty said. “These recordings may be the most reliable and objective source of information about the events that occurred just prior to a crash. This legislation is necessary to preserve the integrity of the recordings and protect what may be used as evidence in court.”

As provided in the bill (A-3579), no person, except the owner of the motor vehicle that contains the recording device, or the owner’s representative, may retrieve, obtain, or use data recorded, stored, or transmitted from the recording device, unless:

  • the owner or the owner’s representative consents;
  • the recorded data is retrieved or obtained by a law enforcement officer pursuant to a search warrant;
  • the recorded data is used for the purpose of improving motor vehicle safety;
  • the recorded data is retrieved by a licensed motor vehicle dealer, repair, or servicing facility;
  • the recorded data is retrieved to legally proper discovery request or order in a civil action.