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Bill would allow police ‘textalyzer’ use in New York

There are many tools and tests police might end up using when investigating a crash scene. A bill seeks to add a new distracted-driving-related test to the toolbox of police in New York state.

The new tool is called a “textalyzer”. Purportedly, this tool would allow police to scan a phone for signs that a driver may have been using the phone while driving. The bill would authorize police in the state to use a textalyzer in accident scene investigations. No state yet has such a law in place.

Proponents of the bill say the textalyzer will help police detect distracted driving in a way that doesn’t compromise a phone owner’s privacy. Opponents, meanwhile, argue that the tool raises privacy and accuracy concerns.

There are many impacts what tools police have during crash investigations can have. For one, it could influence the conduct of drivers. If drivers know police have a way to test for a certain type of dangerous driving conduct, it could impact how likely they are to engage in such conduct. Do you think allowing police to use a textalyzer would help with reducing distracted driving in New York?

Also, what tools police have in crash investigations could impact what sort of information is available for crash victims who are looking into pursuing a personal injury claim in connection to the crash. For one, it could impact what information ends up in police reports on crashes. One wonders if the textalyzer bill, if ultimately passed, would end up having big impacts when it comes to personal injury cases involving allegations of distracted driving.

Do you think New York should pass the textalyzer bill? What impacts do you think a textalyzer law would have?

Source: Chappaqua Patch, “NY Lawmakers Consider Adding a ‘Textalyzer’ to Accident Investigations,” Lanning Taliaferro, April 25, 2017

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