You have heard of a breathalyzer but likely have not yet heard about a “textalyzer”, the newest technology which can be used to incriminate distracted drivers. The technology determines if you have been using your electronic device illegally on the road.
The New York legislature is considering allowing police officers to use textalyzers to break into your phones and see if you wrote or read texts or emails, accessed apps, browsed the web or otherwise used your phone within a short time of a car stop or accident. The bill has passed out of one committee and is pending in another. Given Governor’s long-term crusade against distracted driving and prior successful efforts to strengthen distracted driver laws, passage of this bill seems like a fait accompli.
If approved, I expect police officers responding to accidents to routinely obtain this data as part of their work to generate a police report. Such data can likely be used against the offending driver in a court case. I can also see this technology being used as part of a routine traffic stops and used by police officers during traffic trials for violating VTL 1225c and 1225d. The law would make it much easier to secure this data and avoid the arduous task of obtaining a search warrant.
So here is how it works. A police officer simply attaches a cord to a motorist’s device and connects it to the textalyzer. Upon the tap of one button and in under 2 minutes, the device will show the device’s last activities with time stamps. Specifically, the textalyzer displays a summary of what apps on the phone were open and in use, as well as screen taps and swipes. Addressing privacy concerns, manufacturers of the device claim that it will not download content.
This will be an effective enforcement tool. It will also make it very difficult to beat traffic tickets issued for illegally using a cell phone or electronic device.
If it reduces distracted driving, then I am all for it. There are way to many accidents, injuries and casualties from motorists stupidly using their devices while driving. PLEASE put the away while behind the wheel!!