New York Could Become the First State to Use Textalyzers

 We’ve all heard of Breathalyzers, machines that measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) when you blow into the device. According to a Pix11 news report, New York State is considering the use of textalyzers in its fight against distracted driving. If state legislators pass a bill that authorizes the use of textalyzers, New York would become the first state to use this device, which essentially helps determine whether a person has been texting and driving moments before a crash.

How Does a Textalyzer Work?
The device is being developed by an Israel-based company called Cellebrite. This device would help investigating police officers determine whether a driver was illegally using a phone to text moments before the crash. So, in a typical situation, a police officer would go over to the driver and attach a cord to connect a device to the driver’s phone. The driver doesn’t even have to let go of the device. The officer then taps a button and the textalyzer will take about 90 seconds to process the information.
The device will show the phone’s most recent activities. This information could include text messages with time stamps. It might also display a summary of what apps on the phone were open and in use as well as screen taps and swipes. For example, if it was a WhatsApp message or a call, the device will indicate what the source was, the time stamp, and then what the direction of the communication was – in other words, it if was an outgoing or incoming call.
The technology is still being fully developed and will be tailored to what is legal in each jurisdiction that approves its use. The device’s developers say the textalyzer will only capture taps and swipes to determine if a driver was using the phone. It won’t download content, but it will be able to tell if the driver was using a phone legally or hands-free.
Concerns About Civil Liberties
Civil liberties advocates are already worried about what this type of a device might do in terms of giving governments too much access to private information. Some advocates argue that police officers already have laws that give them access to phone records when the need arises. This bill, they say, gives police the power to take and search people’s phones that contain personal information, even if they are only involved in something as minor as a fender bender.
The Debate Continues
However, there is another side to this argument. Safety advocates say that this could be an innovative approach to battling distracted driving. This device, they say, might give the government good data to tackle the problem of distracted driving, which many agree has risen to epidemic proportions. The textalyzer bill has passed a committee in one house of the New York legislature and is pending in another. State legislatures in New Jersey and Tennessee are also considering similar bills.
We will be following this legislation and the debate surrounding as it progresses. Distracted driving has deadly consequences and our law enforcement officials do need the tools to combat this serious issue – whether it’s a textalyzer or something else. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. That represents roughly 10 percent of all fatal crashes and 17 percent of all accidents that caused injuries. Texting is the worst type of distraction because it causes drivers to take their hands off the wheel, eyes of the road and takes their attention away from the task of driving.
Contacting a Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver or if you have lost a loved one in an auto accident caused by a reckless driver or due to someone else’s negligence, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. For over 49 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims.
Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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