Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2016 at 5:21 pm    

If a controversial law is passed in New York, drivers in that state may have to hand their phone over to law enforcement in the event of a car accident.  The officer will use a device being called a “textalyzer” to scan the phone logs to determine if the driver was texting or using the cell phone at the time of the collision. The law will make submitting to a textalyzer part of the “implied consent” law so drivers refusing to hand over their phones will have their driver’s licenses suspended.

The proposed bill is called “Evan’s Law” after 19 year old Evan Lieberman who died in 2011 after a head-on collision with another teenager. The teenager who caused the accident was not criminally charged but Evan’s father sued the driver and discovered he was using his cell phone at the time of the fatal accident.

Does The Textalyzer Violate Constitutional Rights?

People against the law claim that the textalyzer violates constitutional privacy rights because law enforcement officers do not have a warrant to conduct a search of the cell phone. However, those in favor of the law claim it will reduce the number of people killed or injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers by discouraging texting while driving. If drivers know their cell phones are subject to being analyzed by the textalyzer, they will be less likely to text while driving.  They claim that the textalyzer does not violate privacy rights because it only tells police if the driver was texting or using the phone at the time of the crash. In order to obtain detailed logs of calls and messages, a search warrant would still need to be obtained.

Is Texting While Driving A Big Problem In California?

If the textalzyer law passes in New York, other states could follow suit. Texting while driving is a problem throughout the United States, including California. California’s “It’s Not Worth It!” campaign reports that during 2014, 61 percent of drivers surveyed admitted they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver who was texting or talking on a cell phone. During 2013, over 426,000 handheld cell phone and texting convictions were recorded with 57,000 tickets being issued in April alone.

Texting while driving increases your risk of being involved in an accident by 23 percent. Distracted driving, including texting while driving, is a huge problem with 80 percent of all vehicle crashes being caused by some form of distracted driving. Texting is one of the worst forms of distracted driving because it takes the driver’s hands off the steering wheel, his eyes off the road, and his mind off the task of driving. It is simply not worth the risk and the new textalyzer seeks to make texting while driving even less appealing by making it easier for officers to identify drivers who are breaking the law.

Have You Been Injured By A Texting Driver?

If you have been hurt by someone who was texting while driving, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries.  Because California is not using the textalyzer, an attorney may need to subpoena the phone records of the other driver to prove he or she was texting at the time of the collision.

Contact the Tiemann Law Firm for a free consultation with one of our Sacramento personal injury attorneys.  You can contact us by calling (916) 999-9000 or you can chat with a representative on our website.  We want to help you recover compensation for your losses, damages, and injuries caused by a distracted driver.

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