However—as it is written, it only applies to motor vehicles specifically listed in CFR 49, Section 563, which DOES NOT INCLUDE MOTORCYCLES. In fact, there is no reference to motorcycles at all. Therefore the privacy protections offered to motor vehicles WOULD NOT EXTEND TO MOTORCYCLISTS. WE WOULD BE UNPROTECTED. THE DATA ON THE BLACK BOX COULD BE USED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AND EVEN YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY.
There are over 45 different data points that are recorded by these little black boxes and it can be expanded by the manufacturer. There are NO limitations or restrictions or even guidelines as to what they can set the device to monitor and record.
While these devices are not currently required on motorcycles, the National Highway Traffic Administration is requiring it of all passenger cars, trucks and buses. The American Motorcycle Association believes that it will be extended to motorcycles. Since motorcycles are not exempted and not protected (ownership of the black box belongs NOT to the cyclist, but is open to examination by the police and insurance companies) the data can be used AGAINST the cyclist in court, civil lawsuits, DMV, and your insurance company.
In my humble opinion, we each need to write our Congressman and show support for H.R. 2414, the Black Box Privacy Protection Act which would extend the expectation of data privacy on the event recorders placed on motorcycles as property of the motorcycle owner or lessee.
Imagine you’re involved in a collision not of your own fault. Police remove the event data recorder and send it to the manufacturer for download of the data. Your speed is now a matter of record and it will be argued that you lost your right of way relative to this collision when you exceeded the speed limit and you could be found at fault. You are now open for negative actions from the other driver, the law, and even your own insurance company.
Adam 12 - Peacemaker Posse (Retired)