Lawmakers in New York would like to give officers a new tool in their war against distracted driving, which injures thousands of motorists in related motor vehicle accidents every year. Breathalyzer, meet the textalyzer…part of a new generation of gadgets aimed at keeping drivers on the straight and narrow.
Equipped with the textalyzer, lawmakers envsion officers collecting drivers’ phones following an accident and using the textalyzer to scan for recent activity. The technology could determine if a driver used the phone to text, email or anything else that is unlawful under NY hands-free driving.
Some lawmakers say it is equivalent to New York’s campaign against drunk driving in the early 80’s, which resulted in tougher laws for dui/owi offenses, which have had a ripple effect across the country. They feel that distracted driving should be treated as seriously as drunk driving as they both strongly correlate with motor vehicle accident injuries and fatalities.
Fourteen states prohibit the use of hand-held devices by drivers, and 46 ban texting. Iowa is among the states that does not have a hand-held ban, but texting while driving is illegal. However, Iowa’s secondary texting law means that a law enforcement officer can only issue a ticket for texting if the officer witnesses another violation – such as running a stop sign and texting. Many believe few drivers are deterred by the secondary law and would like to see more restrictions on texting while driving.
Distracted and impaired driving are serious issues, which can have devastating consequences for Iowa drivers and their passengers. If you have been injured in a car or truck accident, contact the personal injury Law Offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson for help.
Source: New York Times, “Texting and Driving, Watch Out for the Textalyzer”, by MATT RICHTEL, APRIL 27, 2016