Lawmakers across the country are considering bills to allow use of a “textalyzer” device to tell whether drivers used their phones just before a crash.
The textalyzer device would be similar to a breathalyzer in that it could be plugged into a driver’s phone and determine what apps were open just prior to the crash, if any. It would also be able to determine whether the phone was being used hands-free, according to NPR.
Opponents of the law cite privacy concerns, but lawmakers say the textalyzer doesn’t download any information from the phone or look at anyone’s texts or emails, according to The New York Times.
“We need something on the books where people’s behavior can change,” Democratic assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz said, the NYT reported. With a textalyzer bill in place, he said, “people are going to be more afraid to put their hands on the cellphone.”
Distracted driving “is not being treated as seriously as drunk driving, and it needs to be,” said Candace Lightner, founder of the group Partnership for Distraction-Free Driving and formerly the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the NYT reported.
“It’s dangerous, devastating, crippling, and it’s a killer, and still socially acceptable,” she added.
Fatalities from car accidents have increased sharply as smartphones have proliferated.
The ACLU’s Donna Lieberman, however, sees the bill as a way for police to “seize phones without justification or warrant,” the NYT reported.
Privacy concerns seemed paramount to those on Twitter who commented about the bill.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.