In New York, lawmakers are hoping to go after distracted drivers and prevent texting while driving. They want to scan cellphones after an accident in order to determine what the driver was doing just prior to the collision. The current law makes it so prosecutors must subpoena the cellphone company in order to obtain the phone records. This current process can take months at a time.
A company, Cellebrite, is designing a device that would be used to check a cellphone and determine if the driver was texting. The device — called “textalyzer” — would allow authorities to determine if a text was sent or read, but they won’t be able to see the message itself or who was on the other end.
The objective is to make sure roads are safe, but allow individuals to keep their privacy. Unfortunately, it is estimated that drivers who are distracted and texting while operating a vehicle are 23 times more likely to cause a collision.
The bill would allow authorities to treat the situation as a DUI and if the driver doesn’t provide the cellphone for analysis, they can face penalties such as a drivers’ license suspension. New York would be the first state in the nation to have a bill of its kind. While some factors need to be worked out—such as determining if the text was sent using a hands-free device—it is a step in the right direction to protect those on the road.
At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., our team of New York City car accident lawyers is determined to help individuals who have been harmed in accidents caused by distracted drivers. If you or someone you love has been injured by a driver who was texting behind the wheel, call our firm and learn what options you may have to protect your rights and seek the compensation you need and deserve.