New York State is considering a first-of-its-kind device that would allow police officers to check motorists' cell phones for evidence of distracted driving prior to a car crash. It would provide law enforcement officers a system developed by the company helping the FBI crack the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone to detect phone use without accessing other information.
"I have often heard there is no such thing as a breathalyzer for distracted driving—so we created one," founder of the nonprofit behind the legislation Ben Lieberman stated. "Respecting drivers' personal privacy, however, is also important, and we are taking meticulous steps to not violate those rights."
If the bill becomes law, it would act as model legislation for other states and be especially powerful for a reason similar to breathalyzer laws: motorists who fail to comply with the check for texting while driving risk giving up their licenses because of "implied consent" language within the bill, establishing probable cause for the searches based on inference of likely usage.
This would further strengthen laws already in place in Colorado which has more strict distracted driving laws. Drivers under the age of 18 face a $50 fine for first-time offenses of any cell phone usage and $100 thereafter. Adults face similar fines but only for texting. Either way, the crash data analysis provided would likely be a much larger deterrent given the high costs of recovering a driving license.
The Stats Behind The Textalyzer-Breathalyzer Debate
Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other organizations have made the images of drinking and driving in movies like "Dazed and Confused" no longer cool but outright dangerous. According to the Huffington Post, there are still 10,000 or more fatalities each year as a result of drunk driving. The problem with distracted driving? It isn't far behind.
As the incidences of drunk driving are decreasing, texting is up, a lot. Six times as many people are seen texting compared to a decade ago. More than 3,000 deaths come as a result of distracted driving of some sort. More importantly, no one really seems to mind, and it isn't just those tricky teens.
No, in fact, nearly half of all adults have put themselves in danger of a serious auto accident with injuries, by driving while using a cell phone. So while the perception of teens not thinking that texting is an issue (only 40 percent of them believe that, according to the NHTSA).
Get Help with Your Distracted Driving Accident Injuries Today
Regardless of state statutes, personal injury attorneys like those here at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn have helped victims of accidents caused by texting while driving through the use of evidence available and other means. Call us at (303) 782-9999 or fill out the quick case evaluation form today for a no-cost, hassle-free consultation about your potential injury case.