BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1942
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 19, 2010

                               Bonnie Lowenthal, Chair
                AB 1942 (Fletcher) - As Introduced:  February 17, 2010
          SUBJECT  :  Video event recorder:  vehicle windshields

           SUMMARY  :  Provides that a video event recorder with the  
            capability of monitoring driver performance may be mounted in  
            a seven-inch square in the lower corner of a vehicle  
            windshield farthest from the driver or in a five-inch square  
            in the lower corner on the windshield nearest the driver and  
            outside of an airbag deployment zone.  

           EXISTING LAW:   

          1)Generally prohibits any person from driving a motor vehicle  
            with any object or material placed, displayed, installed,  
            affixed, or applied on the windshield or side or rear windows  
            that obstructs or reduces the driver's clear view, with  
            exceptions.  These exceptions include global positioning  
            system devices and electronic toll transponders.  

          2)Requires vehicle manufacturers to disclose in the owner's  
            manual whenever a vehicle sold or leased in California is  
            equipped with one or more recording devices commonly referred  
            to as "event data recorders" or "sensing and diagnostic  
            modules;"  defines "recording devices" as those that:  

             a)   Record how fast and in which direction the motor vehicle  
               is traveling; 

             b)   Record a history of where the motor vehicle travels;

             c)   Record steering performance; 

             d)   Record brake performance, including, but not limited to,  
               whether brakes were applied before an accident; 

             e)   Record the driver's seat belt status; and,

             f)   Have the ability to transmit information concerning an  
               accident in which the motor vehicle has been involved to a  
               central communications system at the moment the accident  


                                                                  AB 1942
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          3)Provides that data recorded on a recording device may not be  
            downloaded or otherwise retrieved by a person other than the  
            registered owner of the motor vehicle, except under specific  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  :  The author introduced this bill to reduce motor  
          vehicle deaths by allowing the use of video event recorders that  
          can lead to safe driving habits and reduced accidents.   Studies  
          of both teens and commercial drivers found that the use of video  
          event recorders, paired with behavioral coaching, improved  
          driver safety and reduced accidents.  Video event recorders  
          typically are operated on a loop and only save recordings in  
          events such as quick stops or accidents.  The records are used  
          to analyze a driver's actions during the events to coach  
          positive driving behavior.  

          The American Civil Liberties Union, while not opposed to AB  
          1942, expressed a number of privacy concerns with this bill,  

          4)The bill should state explicitly that the recorder data  
            belongs to the vehicle owner.  

          5)An employee driver should be given the opportunity to consent  
            or refuse to consent to the use of the event data recorder in  
            the vehicle he or she drives.  

          6)The vehicle owner should have the ability to disable the video  
            event recorder and the ability to turn it off and on.  

          7)Data collection should be restricted to 30 seconds prior to  
            and after the event that triggers the video event recorder.  

          Author's amendments  :  The author intends to take the following  
          amendments in committee to provide more specificity to eligible  
          uses of the video event recorder as well as to the technology  
          that will be allowed:  

          8)Add to the reasons for which a video event recorder can be  
            used to include the capacity to monitor driver performance to  
            improve driver safety.  


                                                                  AB 1942
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          9)Define "video event recorder" to mean a video recorder that  
            continuously records in a digital loop, recording audio,  
            video, and G-force levels, but only saves video when triggered  
            by an unusual motion or crash or when operated by the driver  
            to monitor driver performance.  

           Previous legislation  :  AB 213 (Leslie) Chapter 427, Statutes of  
          2003, requires a manufacturer of a new motor vehicle sold or  
          leased in this state that is equipped with one or more recording  
          devices, commonly referred to as ''event data recorders (EDR)''  
          or ''sensing and diagnostic modules (SDM),'' to disclose that  
          fact in the owner's manual for the vehicle.  



          None on file

          Analysis Prepared by  :   Janet Dawson / TRANS. / (916) 319-2093