Drinking and driving is dangerous, but so is texting while driving. Distracted driving is a big cause of fatalities and serious injuries on the roads in Ontario. In Ontario, it is illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices.
A company from Israel has introduced a “textalyzer” device to determine whether drivers have been using their phone at the time of a car accident. New York is already considering creating a bill to allow police to use it. The legislation would require drivers who have recently been in a car accident to submit their cell phones for police testing.
The textalyzer, which gets its name from the breathalyzer that determines a driver’s blood alcohol content, is a roadside device that specializes in data extraction. The device will determine if the cell phone was in use at the time of the accident. Yet, liberty groups have complained that this textalyzer disrespects drivers’ personal privacy.
But…the textalyzer could help establish liability in car accident cases. If you are injured in a car accident because the other driver was distracted due to “texting-and-driving”, then the textalyzer may help prove the other driver’s negligence.
Distracted driving is a grave public safety concern impacting us all. While privacy has to be considered, this textalyzer may be a welcome and useful tool to make Ontario roads safer.
This post was contributed by Norelle Di Gregorio, lawyer practicing with Elkin Injury Law in St. Catharines, Ontario.