There is currently a “textalyzer” device that is being developed in order to assist authorities in determining whether a person involved in a motor vehicle accident was illegally driving while distracted. The roadside technology is being created by an Israeli company called Cellibrite, which many people think helped the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with unlocking the iPhone that was the subject of a decryption dispute with Apple.
In New York, a law has been proposed that would require motorists involved in accidents to submit their phone to be tested using a textalyzer to determine whether the motorist was using a mobile phone just prior to a collision. In order to avoid any violation of the Fourth Amendment right to privacy, the textalyzer would maintain the privacy of conversations, contacts, phone numbers, photos and application data. The textalyzer would only state whether the motorist was using the phone just before a crash.
Additional analysis may be needed to discover whether a hands-free device was being used, as well as to confirm the initial finding. A warrant may ultimately be required to conduct further analysis.
The proposed legislation behind the textalyzer was inspired by much lobbying from a group called Distracted Operators Risk Casualties (DORCs). Its co-founder, Ben Lieberman, had a son who was killed in 2011 by a distracted motorist in New York. The law has been referred to as “Evan’s Law” in memory of Evan Lieberman, who was 19 years old at the time.
If the law passes, when a car accident occurs, police will inform drivers involved in the accident that their refusal to comply with the test will result in immediate suspension of their driver’s license or permit to drive, as well as subsequent revocation of their license.
For further information, read the ARSTechnica.com article, “First Came the Breathalyzer, Now Meet the Roadside Police ‘Textalyzer.’”
If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of another person, or if you lost a loved one due to such negligence or intentional wrongdoing, contact the personal injury attorneys at Proner and Proner.