New York lawmakers may pass legislation allowing the use of a ‘textalyzer’ to catch drivers texting behind the wheel. Much like the breathalyzer is used to measure the blood alcohol content of drunk drivers, the textalyzer would plug into mobile phones and determine whether motorists were texting at the time of an accident.
Lawmakers and organizations who want this bill passed claim the textalyzer would only look at messaging activity. The details of text messages would not be accessible by police, nor would app data, photos, phone numbers or any other personal information. Would motorists in New York risk texting and driving if they knew police may check their phones?
This law might also make it much easier to pursue both criminal and civil cases against distracted drivers. There are already ways to receive call and message logs from service providers after an accident, but the textalyzer could make this process much easier.
New York’s controversial legislation is the result of intense lobbying efforts from Distracted Operators Risk Casualties, an anti-distracted driving group. The group’s co-founder lost his son to a distracted driving accident and has dedicated much of his time to ensuring other families do not have to experience the same loss.
There Are Many Ways to Prevent Texting and Driving
If New York allows law enforcement to use the textalyzer and it becomes a successful deterrent for stopping distracted drivers, it is possible other states may adopt similar legislation. However, it is more likely that states will adopt their own methods to prevent texting and driving. States could enact stricter penalties and fines, ramp up highway enforcement or perhaps require distracted driving education in public schools.
There are many methods for preventing distracted driving, but it also comes down to personal responsibility. When we get behind the wheel, we are operating massive vehicles that weigh hundreds or thousands of pounds. We have a responsibility to each other to drive safely, which means putting the phone down and focusing on driving.
The Lafayette personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat will hold distracted drivers accountable when they injure other people.