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Illinois Cops May Get a Device to Stop Distracted Driving

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There’s a new piece of technology police could soon be using to determine if a driver was using their phone moments before an accident occurred, and some people are NOT happy about it.

This device called a “Textalyzer”, works similar to a breathalyzer, and two Chicago alderman are pushing to have city cops equipped with them to help stop distracted driving accidents.

The Textalyzer hooks up to a cell phone and allows law enforcement to see if the driver was typing or swiping in the moments before an accident happened. According to WGN, the Textalyzer ” is not supposed to collect any information from the phone. But civil liberties groups say police should need a warrant.”

And there’s the rub. Is using technology like this an violation of our privacy? I see the potential it has for reducing senseless accidents caused by distracted driving, but how can we really be sure personal info would not be collected with a device like this?

New York is also considering adopting similar legislation, and according to ABC News this is how their bill proposal reads;

Under the bill’s current language, a driver would give “implied consent” for field testing of their phone to be conducted by a police officer “at or near the time of the accident or collision, which provides the grounds for such testing. No such electronic scan shall include the content or origin of any communication, game conducted, image or electronic data viewed on a mobile telephone or a portable electronic device.”

I don’t know you guys. Distracted driving is a HUGE problem on the roads these days, but I’m just not sure spending the money to arm police with these devices is really going to put a stop to it. The Textalyzer is still a prototype at this point, so it’s future distribution is still a ways off, but what do you think? Is the potential of the device worth the investment?

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