Hoeven Driver Privacy Act Passes as Part of Senate Highway Bill

Klobuchar-Hoeven Distracted Driving Bill Also Passes

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that his Driver Privacy Act has passed as part of the Senate’s six-year highway bill. The legislation establishes in law that the owner of a vehicle is also the owner of any information collected by an Event Data Recorder (EDR). Hoeven was joined on the legislation by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

An EDR is an onboard electronic device that has the ability to continuously collect at least 43 pieces of information about a vehicle’s operation. This includes direction, speed, seatbelt usage and other data. The senators’ legislation would ensure that the vehicle owner controls the data and their personal privacy is protected.

“The Driver Privacy Act secures the right to privacy in the age of technology that the American people are entitled to and have come to expect throughout our history,” Hoeven said. “People want to know that the information recorded by the EDR in their cars is information that they will retain and control and our bill helps to ensure that government and other entities respect their Fourth Amendment rights.”

North Dakota passed an EDR privacy statue in 2005, while Senator Hoeven was governor and is one of 15 states that have already passed laws related to EDRs. These state laws, however, apply only in the states that have them; drivers are unprotected in states that do not. The Hoeven bill will ensure that the protection is extended nationwide.

Hoeven also teamed with Klobuchar to pass the Distracted Driving Act, bipartisan legislation that will help more states access a federal distracted driving grant program.

The program is supposed to award funding to states that are taking steps to curb distracted driving, but last year, because of overly stringent requirements, only one state qualified for the grants. The Klobuchar-Hoeven provision makes modifications to the requirements that will help more states qualify ensure that more states areyable to access critical funding for enforcement and public education to help keep our roadways safe.