Based on the proposed bill Evan’s Law, experts compare the Textalyzer to a Breathalyzer in that it would involve applied consent. Applied consent would work the same way as applied consent laws do for a Breathalyzer.
Many states permit police officers to use breathalyzers during a traffic stop when they suspect the driver is intoxicated. Applied consent law states that by virtue of driving a vehicle, you agree to consent to a chemical test — either breath, blood or urine test to determine your alcohol or drug content.
According to The New York Times, textalyzer technology for cellphones could reveal whether a driver used the phone to text, email or for some other unlawful use while driving. New York is a hands-free driving state, which means laws prohibit drivers from holding phones to their ears while driving. If a driver refused to give a police officer the phone for a textalyzer test, penalties would be similar to refusing a Breathalyzer test.
The National Review published an article in 2016 that compared distracted driving with driving under the influence (DUI). A 2006 study done by University of Utah researchers incorporated use of a driving simulator. The study involved a group of 49 participants from ages 22 to 45. First they tested baseline driving. Afterward they observed driving while using cell phones. They did the last test on participants with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 over a three-day period. The study showed that cellphone users, whether using hands-free or handheld phones, had greater levels of driver impairment than the intoxicated drivers.
Drunk driving fatalities have decreased over the years as a result of implementing drunk driving campaigns and passing DUI laws. However, distracted driving fatalities are on the rise. Statistics show that 8 people die a day from distracted driving. By comparison, 28 people die in accidents involving drunk drivers. However, if distracted driving is under reported, more people may be dying in distracted driving incidents than statistics reveal. The purpose of the textalyzer would be to uncover incidents of distracted driving.
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