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ibstubro's avatar

Would you support a bill requiring drivers involved in an automobile accident to submit their cell phone for testing?

Asked by ibstubro (18804points) April 12th, 2016

The technology doesn’t access any private information.

Just such a bill is proposed in New York, and the technology is called a “textalyzer”.

” In a bid to get around the Fourth Amendment right to privacy, the textalyzer allegedly would keep conversations, contacts, numbers, photos, and application data private. It will solely say whether the phone was in use prior to a motor-vehicle mishap. Further analysis, which might require a warrant, could be necessary to determine whether such usage was via hands-free dashboard technology and to confirm the original finding.”

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12 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

No, because I am using my phone while driving for navigation and I listen to podcasts through my car’s speakers.

I don’t like laws that presume guilt.

cookieman's avatar

^^ Same answer — plus, if police feel a driver is negligent, they could always get a warrant to look at the call/texting logs.

Still may prove nothing as many smart phones have voice recognition allowing you to text, eMail, call, and more hands free.

I do it all the time. “Hey Siri…”

Pachy's avatar

No, but I would support a law that made it an automatic license-revocable penalty to talk, text or in any other way use a cell phone while driving, even hands-freely. I am vehemently against using cell phones while driving.

I’m sure there will be huge pushback on my comment, but I stand firm in my belief that any activity that diverts even the slighest attention from steering or braking a 4,000 lb. hunk of steel and glass should warrant penalties as serious as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I think this was the basis of @jca’s question a few weeks ago.

jerv's avatar

Not just no, but what the fuck drugs are they shoving up their ass? Do the people who wrote that law even technology? I mean, they fail just about every other time they try legislating technology,

@Pachy I hope your car has no radio, no climate control and no way to carry passengers. Oh, and forget GPS too… which is actually what I use my phone in the car for.

jca's avatar

@jerv: In CT, they have signs on the road saying “Phone in one hand, ticket in the other.” Meaning they don’t care if you’re using the phone for the GPS, it’s illegal. When you think about it, that makes sense, otherwise everyone who was using their phone for something illegal (like texting) would just defend themselves saying “I was only using it for the GPS.” This way, across the board, phone in hand = illegal.

ibstubro's avatar

But. They can subpoena your phone records and know exactly what you were doing at the time you violated the law, @jca.

Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other was actually a federally funded distracted driving program.

jca's avatar

True, @ibstubro, but many people will just plead guilty to be done with it.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Won’t work justly in my case.

I review and send text messages while driving, but with a catch:

I’ve used a Pioneer digital media only head unit for about two years now. It is totally compatible with my iPhone and Siri. The unit includes a microphone that I discreetly mounted above the centerview mirror. Siri’s voice comes through the car’s front speakers.

Thus, I am able to text hands and eyes free.

Safer, and technically legal as this is there are driving situations that I still don’t feel comfortable texting in.

jca's avatar

There are many people who will say (and are saying, as these threads are proof of) “I don’t text and drive” or “I don’t use my cell and drive” but there are way many more who we all see driving and talking holding their phones, or texting while driving.

jerv's avatar

@jca Here in WA, it’s also illegal to text-and-drive or to use the phone in any way other than hands-free; your options are bluetooth, speakerphone or ticket. And a lot of people around here have setups like @SecondHandStoke has. Also, you can’t eat behind the wheel around here as it too is seen as a distraction.

However, there are some people who don’t get that this isn’t 1986 and current phones are far more than just phones. Modern smartphones have plenty of legitimate uses, even when driving, but they don’t care. Yet the reasons they cite are reasons that would also require laws against other things in order to maintain consistency. How many drivers are distracted by their passengers? Or get into trouble tuning the radio? But because those activities don’t involve a cellphone, they are perfectly fine.

The issue I have is that it’s a bit tricky to tell what the phone was used for without digging deep, and this test really is no better than many of the tests used during he Salem Witch Trials. I also feel that lawmakers and law enforcement are of questionable competence and ethics when it comes to anything related to technology. If you knew how long Kevin Mitnick was in prison before even being charged, or the real reason he wasn’t allowed to use a telephone, and how the methodology of their testing is pure fucking snake oil you might share my skepticism. If they go by whether the phone was streaming data, then GPS and internet radio could get you nailed. If you look close enough to see what was doing the data streaming and tell GPS from texting, you get into fourth amendment issues.

Whether convicting innocent people or trashing their fourth amendment rights, I see no good coming from this. The best that can be said about it is that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. In fact, that is the only good thing about it; they mean well and are proposing to cause a lot of damage through sheer ineptitude rather than malice. But dangerous idiots can be just as dangerous as those actually out to do intentional harm, so I treat morons as just as big a threat as actual criminals.

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