The “Textalyzer” May Be On The Way
There may soon be a new weapon to combat the epidemic of distracted driving. And yes, it is an epidemic. Though illegal in most states, many drivers are still using their phones and texting while behind the wheel. This negligent behavior has become one of the leading causes of accidents. But, beware texters, police may soon be using a device like a breathalyzer to see if you were texting and driving when you got into an accident. An Israeli company has now introduced a Textalyzer, a hand held, roadside, cell phone, data extraction device.
The State of New York is all ready drawing up a bill to allow police to use the device. This legislation would require a driver to hand over their cell phone for examination with the Textalyzer. This is where the proposed bill could run into some real trouble. Police currently may subpoena cell phone records, but it takes a warrant from a magistrate to do. A search warrant is also needed for police to seek data from a person’s computer, and one good argue that today’s phones are essentially mini personal computers. There are also questions about whether the Textalyzer would be able to tell the difference between active and ambient phone use. Using hands free calling, speech-to-text, math apps, and music apps are all perfectly legal.
If the Textalyzer is ever going to take its place alongside a breathalyzer on a policeman’s belt, there’s going to be a long legal battle beforehand. In the mean time, we’re going to have to keep dealing with distracted drivers. If you’ve been in an accident with a distracted driver, you need to consult an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney.
Call the Florida law offices of Farah & Farah today for a free, confidential consultation at (800) 533-3555.