The B.C. Court of Appeal has rejected an argument the black box in a pickup involved in a fatal collision is private and should not have been subject to search without a warrant.
Fifty-four-year-old Wayne Fedan of Kamloops was convicted in September 2014 of dangerous driving causing death following a trial. He was sentenced to three years in prison and handed a three-year driving ban to begin following his sentence.
The crash at the turn in front of the entrance to McArthur Island on March 20, 2010, killed 20-year-old Brittany Plotnikoff and 38-year-old Kenneth Craigdaillie. All three were at a party together and Fedan was driving them home.
Lawyers working for the construction worker appealed the conviction, arguing he had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” from a search of his pickup’s black box.
Lawyers argued that search requires a warrant.
Using that black box, an RCMP accident reconstructionist determined Fedan’s foot was on the accelerator as he rounded the turn at more than twice the posted speed limit.
Writing a decision for all three justices, Justice Daphne Smith said information recovered from he black box, known as a sensing diagnostic module (SDM), is not akin to retrieving information from that of a cellphone or personal computer.
“Standing alone, the data provided no personal identifiers that could link Mr. Fedan to the captured data,” Smith wrote. “He therefore had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the SDM or its data after the vehicle was lawfully seized.”
Smith said the SDM provided only five seconds of data before the crash.
“It did not capture any information that revealed intimate details of Mr. Fedan’s biological core and, in particular, who was driving the car,” Smith wrote.
http://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/b-c-cou ... black-box/