Undoubtedly, you’ve witnessed a distracted driver on their cellphone. Maybe you honked at them because they were swerving into your lane or yelled in frustration because they weren’t paying attention and keeping up with traffic. You’ve also probably heard horror stories about people dying in car crashes as a result of someone texting or being otherwise engaged with their phone.
New York takes a different approach
The state of New York is taking a big step towards cracking down on distracted driving by approving a study of ‘textalyzer’ devices. This new technology may have uncovered a way for police to examine a driver’s phone to determine if they were illegally using it at the time of a crash.
On Wednesday, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo announced plans for the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to examine the ‘textalyzer’ technology as well as questions about privacy and civil liberty violations.
The governor of New York issued a statement saying, “Despite laws to ban cellphone use while driving, some motorists still continue to insist on texting behind the wheel – placing themselves and others at substantial risk.” The goal of this new technology is to reduce reckless driving behavior while protecting the rights and privacy of New Yorkers.
How will the ‘textalyzer’ work?
At the scene of an accident, a police officer would use the ‘textalyzer’ device by plugging it directly into your phone. After about a minute, the device will then determine whether or not you were texting, emailing, searching the internet or otherwise using your phone before the crash.
Will the ‘textalyzer’ be able to download contents from your phone?
Privacy advocates and civil libertarians are particularly concerned about this new technology being an invasion of personal privacy, but an engineer of the ‘textalyzer’ device insists that it would only record swipes and clicks. The engineer also firmly stated that the device would not have the ability to download any content from your phone.
What factors will the committee consider while examining the technology?
Throughout the examination of the ‘textalyzer’ technology, the committee will carefully consider many key points. They will hear from supporters and opponents of the new technology as well as legal experts and law enforcement officials. The committee will focus heavily on the effectiveness of the technology, legal and constitutional issues, and how the device will be used in the field.
New York Senator, Terrance Murphy believes it’s only a matter of time before this bill passes into legislation, stating that it “will literally save lives.”
What does this mean for Georgia drivers?
Currently, New York has made the most advancements when it comes to implementing ‘textalyzer’ technology. While they will likely be the first state to pass this into legislation, other states may not be far behind. Lawmakers from multiple other cities and states have shown interest in the device and how it might decrease the amount of distracted drivers in their own communities.