10 Aug 2010

Data from car computer helped to convict driver

8:59 pm on 10 August 2010

Data recorded on a car's computer showing a driver was travelling at 150kmh when he severely injured a man in a crash has helped to convict him of dangerous driving.

Allan John Hohaia's V8 Holden crossed the centre line near Porangahau in Hawke's Bay before colliding with a car driven by 55-year-old Peter Kerr on 25 January last year.

Hohaia had said he was travelling at 60kmh.

The 50-year-old was sentenced to six months' home detention and ordered to pay $17,500 in reparation to Mr Kerr when he appeared in the Hastings District Court on Monday.

Judge Ann Gaskell accepted police evidence from the air bag computer in Hohaia's high-performance Holden Clubsport.

Police say evidence from a car's "black-box" would not be used on its own but can form part of the evidence presented in court.

Criminal lawyer Michael Bott says the use of data recorded on the car's computer is an example of how New Zealand is becoming a surveillance society.

Mr Bott says he is not aware of this type of data being used in a trial before and believes motorists should question how accurate the data is.

He says motorists are buying cars essentially with monitoring devices in them.