In the near future, police may be able to detect if you've been texting behind the wheel with a phone scanning device.
The Textalyzer is a similar concept to a Breathalyzer, but instead of measuring your blood-alcohol level, it measures your cell phone activity while behind the wheel! This device may soon be in the hands of police offers in New York to help them determine whether a car accident happened while the driver was using a cellphone.
New York banned the use of hand-held devices for all drivers in 2009. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that his Governor's Traffic Safety Committee will study this new technology as well as its legality in terms of personal privacy laws.
"Despite laws to ban cellphone use while driving, some motorists still continue to insist on texting behind the wheel – placing themselves and others at substantial risk," Cuomo said in a statement to the Associated Press. "This review will examine the effectiveness of using this new emerging technology to crack down on this reckless behaviour and thoroughly evaluate its implications to ensure we protect the safety and privacy of New Yorkers."
Cellebrite, a technology company in Israel, is developing the Textalyzer device, saying it is still months away from being ready.
Cuomo's committee will hear from those for and against the technology, law enforcement officials and legal experts before making the report. The focus of this report will be the effectiveness of the technology, constitutional and legal issues, and how the device would be used in real situations.
The Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research conducted a study of crashes involving cellphone use and distracted driving in New York from 2011-2015. It found that 12 people were killed and 2,784 were injured in accidents caused by cellphones. In addition, 1.2 million tickets were used for cellphone use violations during that period. According to the study, 48 to 52 percent of drivers send or receive text messages while driving.
"We were the first state to adopt a motorcycle helmet law, a seat-belt law for front-seat passengers and a cellphone law," Terri Egan, executive commissioner of the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, reported. "We want to make sure we consider all the impacts of the technology carefully to best ensure public safety and effective enforcement of the law."
The decision of whether or not to introduce this technology is under serious consideration.
Take a look at the video below to see how easily teens get distracted by their mobiles while driving!