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Textalyzer technology may help crack down on distracted driving

Texting has been a major cause of accidents in New York over the past decade. Some studies have shown that texting and driving is just as bad as, if not worse than, driving under the influence of alcohol. Tragically, thousands of people have been killed or injured in car accidents caused by distracted drivers.

Law enforcement officers often use Breathalyzers to determine if a motorist is driving while drunk. However, it has always been a struggle for officers to prove that a driver is distracted behind the wheel. Things are about to get a little bit easier for officers. Developers are currently working on a new technology that will be used to create a "textalyzer," which can be used to tell if a driver was texting while driving.

A recently proposed bill in New York discusses field testing after an accident for the use of electronics while driving. If the bill is approved, police officers would be able to test a driver's cell phone to see if it was being used prior to or during a car crash. If a driver refuses to give up his phone for testing, he could lose his license.

The bill is currently in committee, with supporters excited about the possibility of cracking down on distracted drivers. If the legislation passes, laws would likely change with regards to implied consent. This would mean that drivers automatically submit to phone testing, simply by getting behind the wheel. One concern would be the privacy of motorists. Conversations, photos and other personal information would need to be kept private by the textalyzer.

With so many lives lost at the hands of distracted drivers, New York lawmakers continue to do everything they can to ensure road safety.

Source: The New York Daily News, "Proposed legislation to introduce roadside 'textalyzer' that determines phone usage prior to car accidents," Alejandro Alba, April 12, 2016

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