There is current legislation working its way through senate and assembly
committees that would allow New York authorities to check drivers'
cell phones for signs of distraction following a motor vehicle accident.
These devices used to check cell phones have been defined as “textalyzer”
devices, modeled after the breathalyzer. They can detect if drivers who
were involved in motor vehicle accidents were tapping and swiping on their
cell phones. The proposed legislation would impose penalties and license
suspension if a driver refuses the scan.
Privacy advocates have expressed concern over the bill. However, the textalyzer
device does not read text messages, and it would not download content.
A police officer using the textalyzer would simply use a cord to connect
the device to the driver's phone. The driver does not even have to
let go of their phone. The device looks at metadata, which indicates whether
a text message was sent, without extracting the content of messages or
If passed in New York, the legislation would be known as Evan’s Law.
19 year old Evan Lieberman was killed in a 2011 car crash that was later
found to be the result of distracted driving. The driver of the car Evan
was an occupant of drifted over the center line and hit another vehicle
head-on. It was later discovered that the driver of the vehicle that caused
the crash had been texting behind the wheel. The driver initially told
police that he dozed off while driving. It took Evan’s father 6
months to eventually figure out that the driver was texting. The textalyzer
device would enable authorities in a case such as Evan’s to quickly
determine what apps on a phone were open and in use, as well as screen
taps and swipes.
Lawmakers are interested in the device in other states and cities as they
consider ways to get drivers focused on the road.
Our Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys Advocate for the Injured
If you were injured in a
motor vehicle accident involving a distracted driver using his or her cell phone, contact Metzger
Wickersham today for a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers
have been serving residents of Pennsylvania with skilled legal representation
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