Welcome to the 21st century! Now, these little black boxes are being used by insurance companies to determine degree of fault and by law enforcement for prosecutions.
In Marion County, Indiana, the District Attorney’s Office says the data from the black boxes are being used in 70% of prosecutions resulting from collisions where there was serious injury or one or more fatalities. Information on the boxes is saved in half-second intervals. It writes over itself every 20 seconds. If an airbag deploys the box immediately grabs the two seconds prior to the deployment and saves the vehicle’s speed and information about braking. Some document engine RPM’s, sudden swerves, and rollovers. Originally created to test air bag deployment, they are now a valuable tool for insurance companies and prosecutors. No word yet in case law as to whether access to the box should require a search warrant or whether there is any expectation of privacy for the owner of the vehicle! It won’t be long before someone who know he’s at fault for the collision learns where they are at and goes to the tow yard to remove it from his vehicle before the DA’s office can!
- Adam 12 - VP Retired, Peacemaker Chapter