- Practice Areas
There is a common misconception that it is easy, legally, to determine whether someone was using a cell phone when they caused an accident. It’s actually not that easy. There are ways, of course, but it’s best if you can also find a witness at the scene of the accident to attest that the driver was using his or her cell phone. When it comes to current texting and driving laws, it also depends on how the person was using their phone. Were they on a phone call, texting, or on social media? Each state has different rules that apply.
Wouldn’t it be better if cops could somehow prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt at the scene of the accident?
That capability is now technologically capable. But first, states have to determine if cops can legally use it. New York state appears to be the first to tackle this issue head-on. Here’s how the New York Times describes the technology:
It would work like this: An officer arriving at the scene of a crash could ask for the phones of any drivers involved and use the Textalyzer to tap into the operating system to check for recent activity.
The technology could determine whether a driver had used the phone to text, email or do anything else that is forbidden under New York’s hands-free driving laws, which prohibit drivers from holding phones to their ear. Failure to hand over a phone could lead to the suspension of a driver’s license, similar to the consequences for refusing a Breathalyzer.”
The New York law is called “Evan’s Law” and it is championed by the father of Evan Lieberman. Evan was 19 when he was killed by a teenager who crossed the middle line of a road and crashed into his car head-on. The other driver was not charged with a crime but Evan’s father, Joe, later sued the driver and learned that the he had been using his phone while driving.
I personally believe that the Textalyzer is a technology that we should use. I have seen too many lives taken or destroyed because of distracted driving, texting being the biggest cause, and in my opinion, current texting and driving laws aren’t strict enough. Did you know that 9 people are killed every day because of distracted driving?
Can you imagine how your life would change if you took someone’s life because you were texting? Imagine how this teen driver’s life changed: Teen Kills 10-Year-Old Girl and Father of 3 While Texting and Driving Yes, she killed two people and that family’s suffering will never end. But her life changed that day, too, because of a bad choice that she made. How will she live with that for the rest of her life?
Textalyzers will help law enforcement to determine the cause of an accident. I’m all for it.
If you have any questions about this article, don’t hesitate to call me at 303-388-5304.