New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently signed into law restrictions regarding access to vehicle recording devices installed by vehicle manufacturers intended to assist with auto accident investigations. The devices are federally required and record information about the vehicle’s features and performance, including speed, steering and braking, airbag deployment, location, and seatbelt use. 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently signed into law restrictions regarding access to vehicle recording devices installed by vehicle manufacturers intended to assist with auto accident investigations. The devices are federally required and record information about the vehicle’s features and performance, including speed, steering and braking, airbag deployment, location, and seatbelt use. The law, which is substantially similar to a federal law currently under consideration, restricts access to the device except to the vehicle owner or the owner’s representative, or if a law enforcement officer obtains a warrant, the data is used to improve vehicle safety (provided the owner and any occupant isn’t disclosed), in response to a subpoena, or by an emergency responder who needs to access it to determine medical needs. Additionally, the law prohibits knowingly altering or deleting the recording device within two years of a crash that resulted in bodily injury or death. The law, effective immediately, provides for a civil penalty of $5,000 per violation.

TIP: This law is a reminder that regulators have begun to scrutinize with increasing frequency any technology with the ability to record information about consumers or consumer habits. Companies designing or using devices with tracking technologies should keep this law in mind and be mindful that other similar laws may soon join it.