Using a cellphone while driving is very dangerous, especially if the driver is texting. New York bans texting and driving, but that does not stop people from doing it. Drivers may only face trouble if law enforcement sees them using a phone while behind the wheel and pulls them over.
After an auto accident, it is very difficult to determine if texting could have been a factor that led to the accident. However, officials are considering the use of technology that would allow them to check a cellphone and gather information that would verify if texting occurred at the time of the accident and therefore could have played a role.
The primary concern of those opposed to using this type of technology may be regarding privacy. Allowing officials access to cellphone information is a slippery slope. There is a concern that they could misuse information or use this technology in other ways that possibly could violate people’s rights.
Law enforcement says that using such technology could greatly reduce texting and driving and thus reduce accidents caused by texting. They say the measures in place now make it too difficult to punish those who do it behind the wheel. They say having this technology could make a huge difference and save lives.
The design of the technology would allow authorities to look through cellphone activity and pinpoint activity at the time of the accident. It does not store information and cannot access personal information. However, it is not available currently to law enforcement, so they have not tested the use of it on the roads.
New York lawmakers have looked at this technology before and shut it down. However, it is once again under discussion. Only time will tell whether law enforcement will be able to start using it.