It is no secret that distracted driving is responsible for a disproportionate amount of accidents, injuries, and deaths in New York and around the nation. Governments have poured money into advertising campaigns and passed laws barring the use of cellular phone behind the wheel.
Sadly, these efforts have not curbed the damage that is done by distracted driving on our roads and highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 3,500 people were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving as recently as 2015.
The New York legislature is not taking this lying down. Their answer? The “Textalyzer”.
“Textalyzer? Are you serious?”
The Textalyzer is part of a proposal currently before New York lawmakers would pave the way for law enforcement officers to quickly gain access to cell phones at accidents in order to determine whether distracted driving was a factor.
“Isn’t that an invasion of privacy?”
You are certainly not alone if you are concerned about the implications the Textalyzer proposal has on privacy and due process. Constitutional scholars and privacy advocates have stepped forward to oppose the idea, citing the need for police officers to obtain the phone owner’s consent before accessing cell phone records.
Technology Takes Time
Even if passed by the legislature and signed into law, the Textalyzer bill would likely face stiff legal challenges from the opposition. Even if it received a smooth path into law and was not challenged, the technology is still months away from being ready for prime time.
Beyond New York
New York is not alone in considering this idea. Other cities and states around the country are pursuing similar proposals, including Chicago, New Jersey, and Tennessee.
We’ll Keep Looking Out For You
Whether the Textalyzer is a good idea is up for debate, but one thing is for certain: far too many lives have been lost as a result of distracted driving and it needs to stop. As our society continues to fight the battle against distracted driving, you can rely on the attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy to fight for the rights of accident victims and their loved ones.