Phone Users On The Go Beware
The dangers of distracted driving are well documented. In recent years, unfortunately, distracted driving, especially because of the use of a phone for texting, talking, or even shooting videos or taking photos has risen dramatically. It’s gotten to the point where accidents resulting in injuries, or even deaths, from distracted driving are beginning to rival the statistics for drunk driving, which have been steadily dropping over the years thanks to more awareness and caution on the part of drivers.
But there’s a new technology available that is being looked at seriously by law enforcement, and, should it be implemented, is going to have far reaching effects on drivers. In the same way that police currently have tools that can immediately tell them whether a driver is intoxicated, the a new technology is currently being tested to detect the use of a phone while driving.
A Sneak Peek Of Activity
Right now, if a person is using their phone while driving, the only way that witnesses or the police can immediately confirm usage of the phone is if they see the driver using said phone. If there is a suspicion that a phone may have been used, then records need to be requested from the phone company itself in order to determine whether usage occurred.
Now, thanks to an Israeli company, there is a new technology available referred to as a “Textalzyer.” That resemblance to the term “breathalyzer” is deliberate. This device is designed to hook up directly to a phone and conduct its own test in order to monitor the recent usage of a phone. The technology itself has already passed testing with flying colors. Using it, a police officer is immediately informed of a phone’s most recent activity, whether that is a driver was using the text messaging system, sending a “Tweet” to Twitter, or browsing through Facebook posts.
The Legal Issues
The problem with the Textalyzer technology is not a technical one. Numerous test runs have already proven the device works, and it works very well. A police officer armed with it can tell immediately what a phone’s recent activity has been, assuming the phone itself is still working.
Where the uncertainty of the Textalyzer comes in is with issues of privacy and confidentiality. There is a concern that a police officer using this device will have access to far more information than is actually required to determine distracted driving. While that is not theoretically the goal of this technology, the fact that it can easily “hack” into a device and get a complete rundown of activity has caused some concern from privacy advocates.
Is Florida Next?
Right now, New York is the state that is most aggressively looking at integrating the Textalyzer into police procedures, but Florida isn’t far behind. Lawmakers and police forces in Florida are also currently weighing the merits of this system since, as with the breathalyzer, it would be a reliable, “iron clad” from of evidence that holds up extremely well in court.
For people who are involved in accidents with a distracted driver, the use of a Textalyzer could mean swift, conclusive evidence in the hands of a lawyer for car crash. We’ll have to see how this technology progresses in the coming months, but it’s a promising addition to the arsenal of both police and auto accident lawyers alike.