As reported by Ars Technica, legislators in the state of New York are considering a bill that would make full use of available technology to help ascertain if people behind the wheels involved in vehicular accidents had been inappropriately text messaging when the mishap occurred. The technology to be used will be in the form of a so-called “textalyzer” device, which is currently being developed by Cellebrite, the Israel based company reported to have been connected with the FBI’s successful hacking of an iPhone 5c unit owned by a terrorist involved in last December’s San Bernardino attack. If passed, the bill would mandate that any driver involved in an auto accident submit his handset for testing to determine if he was text messaging at the time of the accident.
Some may remember that New York passed a law back in 2001 which banned the use of cellular phone devices while driving. About seven years ago, that particular law was amended in order to include all portable electronic gadgets. The bill claims that despite the fact that law enforcement authorities in New York have provided “text stops” along the state’s major highways, the cases of car crashes have risen 14 percent this year, with fatalities increasing 8 percent. Making things more complicated is the inherent difficulty for police officers to actually enforce the no texting law in streets, where it is sometimes impossible to ascertain for sure if a driver was indeed using his mobile device at the time of the accident.
This is where Cellebrite’s textalyzer comes in. According to the Ars Technica report, the device is designed to respect the privacy of smartphone owners by not touching any conversation, contact information, or mobile app data. What it does look into is whether or not, the mobile device has been used right around the time of the vehicular accident. For cases that involve a driver using a hands free system however, a warrant could be needed in order to facilitate further investigation.
The legislation came to be partly because of extensive lobbying from the Distracted Operators Risk Casualties (DORCs) organization. Back in 2011, Evan Lieberman, the son of the group’s co-founder Ben Lieberman, was killed by a distracted driver in New York. The proposed bill has been nicknamed “Evan’s Law” in memory of him. The cause of the auto accident that ended Evan’s life was revealed after his family subpoenaed the mobile phone records of the driver involved in the accident. The records show that the driver was indeed distracted while behind the wheels.
Wirefly Is America's Most Trusted Source For All Cell Phones, Plans, TV, and Internet Deals
Wirefly offers great deals on a large selection of smartphones, cell phones, tablets, mobile hotspots, and other wireless devices for the nation's most popular carriers. Use Wirefly’s innovative cell phone and plan comparison tools to ensure you are getting the best deal on the market. Shop with confidence knowing that Wirefly wants to help you find the best prices on cell phones, cell phone plans, TV, and Internet service.