SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Police in the U.S. could soon have a new tool to combat distracted drivers, and it’s called the Textalyzer.
New York’s State Senate is considering a bill that would allow officers to carry the devices that can tell if a driver was using their smartphone near, or at the time of a collision.
Some studies say that distracted driving is nearly as big a problem as drunk driving, but the truth is unclear, because privacy laws can prevent police from checking a driver’s phone after an accident.
“What we tried to do is we tried to come up with technology, and the technology is the ability to scan the phone, but the report it generates doesn’t have anything to do with the content on the phone, it’s just usage over content,” Ben Lieberman, Co-Founder of Distracted Operators Risk Casualties said.
The legislation is named Evan’s Law, after Lieberman’s son who was killed by a distracted driver.
The measure would expand implied consent, and include cell phone testing. Currently in most states, there’s implied consent to undertake sobriety testing as part of having a driver’s license.
“If you refuse a breathalyzer test, you lose your license – you have a license suspension. And, that’s what we did, we expanded on that with this technology that if you are in a collision where there’s probable cause established to take the test, that’s fine – you have your rights, but you won’t have your driving privileges,” Lieberman said.