In a new bill recently introduced in New York, lawmakers assert that texting while driving is as unsafe as drunk driving and needs to be treated as such. The bill proposes law enforcement use of a new Textalyzer device to deter distracted drivers.
Current law requires a warrant for law enforcement officials to obtain cell phone records if they suspect a driver was texting. However, the Textalyzer — a digital roadside test based on the Breathalyzer concept used to assess alcohol consumption — could change this process.
The Textalyzer would allow officers to view a suspected distracted driver’s cell phone for recent activity while still at the accident scene. The Textalyzer would determine if the driver had texted, emailed or performed any other phone activity that could have distracted them. If a driver refuses to turn over the phone for the test, it could result in a driver’s license suspension similar to the ramifications of not submitting to a Breathalyzer test.
Mark Rosekind, chief of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, states, “Radical change requires radical ideas.” While critics argue that tests of this type violate the Fourth Amendment, supporters of the new device believe distracted driving needs to be treated as seriously as impaired driving.
Although texting while driving is illegal in many states, many drivers ignore the law and engage in dangerous driving habits, such as updating social media profiles or taking selfies while behind the wheel. The potential legal consequences of failing the Textalyzer test could strike fear into drivers which may prevent distracting phone activities while driving.
Current data reflects the negligent attitudes of many drivers. Vehicle fatalities have jumped up eight percent, the biggest spike in the past 50 years. Crashes involving cell phone usage has risen over three consecutive years to comprise more than 25 percent of total car collisions in the United States. According to the Centers of Disease Control, more than 3,000 people are killed by distracted drivers annually.
Distracted drivers can cause serious injuries and even death as a result of their negligence. If you, or your loved one, has been hurt in a Sacramento car accident involving a distracted driver, contact the Arnold Law Firm. A personal injury attorney from our legal team can help you determine your legal options and guide you through the claims process.
Call (916) 777-7777 to schedule a free case review.
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