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Could new texting device help police process distracted drivers?

We all know that distracted driving is a clear and present danger to people out on the road. It takes our attention off the road and places it squarely on a tiny cellphone screen that absorbs our focus. Although state laws have gone quite a ways in discouraging drivers from picking up or looking at their phones while driving, you can't help but feel that enough isn't being done. Distracted drivers are still out there, and even when a police officer catches them, the case that has to be made against a distracted driver is immense, given the seemingly obvious and clear-cut nature of the charge.

For example, the prosecution must subpoena the cellphone companies involved in a texting while driving accident to retrieve the data they require to prove that a distracted driver was indeed texting while driving. That process can take months to complete.

"Couldn't the police just look at the driver's cell phone at the accident scene?," you probably ask. While that would certainly be simple, it is also a violation of the driver's civil rights, as well as the rights of the other person (or people) involved in the texting exchange.

So now a company is creating a device that is being called the "textalyzer" which will allow a police officer to read vital data on a person's cellphone without revealing the content of the texts nor the phone numbers of the people involved. It will only reveal if texts were sent recently, and at what time they were sent. Such a device would preserve a person's civil rights and allow the police to more efficiently process distracted driving violations.

Source: New York Post, "'Textalyzer' will know if you cause a distracted driving accident," Danielle Furfaro, April 12, 2016

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