Social Question

Inspired_2write's avatar

A new device would allow police officers to plug a driver's phone into a machine that would analyze if the driver was texting while on the road. Would you like to see the Textalyzer implemented in your area?

Asked by Inspired_2write (11855points) November 2nd, 2019

Textalyzers will allow the Police to tap into your cellphone to check if one had been texting while driving.
Is this going too far, maybe?
Whats your view on this development.
Here is the link:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/textalyzer-toronto-1.5343303?fbclid=IwAR3LYbBQvHMvDCEew5bwC5gkKAS5xlnD4gBLxXtFG3qAojzT7KrmgDG7fQA

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

91 Answers

rebbel's avatar

I assume the device would allow them to check it, if the driver allows the police officer to do so?
I mean, wouldn’t the driver have the right to refuse (the use of their cellphone)?

But yeah, texting while driving: a big nope.

ragingloli's avatar

No, because this is just a pretext to tap into everything else.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

They’re using it to monetize the offense and aren’t trying to stop it in any way.
Why not use GPS to stop texts over 3mph? ( and really one shouldn’t text while walking at that pace. You’ll hurt yourself- lol)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Seems like an illegal search to me. But this is probably more accurate than an officer merely stating he saw the person texting.

They might as well grab the GPS data to check for speeding offenses, too. You know that can’t be far behind.

Darth_Algar's avatar

No only “no”, but “fuck no”.

Zaku's avatar

No! (groan)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Textalyzer. It might be against the law to use it.

“A textalyzer is a proposed device that would allow the police to detect illegal text messaging while driving. The device has been promoted as a means of reducing distracted driving. ... Law experts as well as members of police have stated that the device might be in contravention of existing privacy laws.”

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Some departments already ask to unlock your phone so they can search. That’s a major no from me. If you want in my phone get a warrant and go through the carrier for the info.

elbanditoroso's avatar

They would have to go to a judge and show probably cause for the warrant. A cop on the beat couldn’t attach his device without it.

But here’s the other problem. I can send voice texts through my bluetooth to and through my phone, without ever touching the phone. How would this device know whether I had phone in hand or was doing voice typing?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Unfortunately if they ask you to unlock your phone or hand it over unlocked you just gave consent to search if you comply.

chyna's avatar

Hells no! I won’t willingly give up my rights to privacy.

johnpowell's avatar

I hate texting while driving. And even I hate this idea. If you want to deter people from it make the penalty hurt. I wouldn’t mind penalty’s similar to driving while intoxicated. Even through I actually think texting is worse. At least when you are drunk you focus extra hard and trying to look like you are driving normally. With texting people don’t seem to give fuck.

Sagacious's avatar

It is a wonderful idea. I tell people stopped at lights to put their phone down on a regular basis. It is right on par with a breathalyzer. They are both impaired/distracted driving and must be stopped. The alcohol laws have actually gone too far in some jurisdictions and others have realized that the law should achieve the purpose of the law…..not ruin lives. I’m proud to see states move toward that goal. The textalyzer sound right on!

rebbel's avatar

How can alcohol laws (in relation to driving) go too far?
It’s very simple, no drinking and driving.
Not a glass.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would be livid if my own tech ratted me out. Well anyway I don’t drive.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m on the other side of the fence. I’m all for anything that will reduce needless deaths. If I have to give up some privacy I don’t care.

LOLz. Today 6 year old Zoey was playing around in my phone. When I got it back she said,“Gramma. I accidentally got in your privacy. I’m sorry.”
I said,“You got in my privacy??? Hey Chris! Did you hear that? Your kid got in my privacy! Right in my privacy!?”
Chris said, “Zoey! What were you doing in Gramma’s privacy?!”
I looked at Zoey who was hanging her head in fake shame and I said,“Well. What did you see?”
She said, “I don’t know. I closed my eyes.” Then she changed her story, “No, wait I was looking over there when it happened so I didn’t see anything.”

ucme's avatar

Never mind driving, i’m always avoiding “textwalkers” when out on a run. They’re heads buried in their phone as I get closer, i’ve started yelling beep beep!! to finally get their attention.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

The IVth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States called. It would like a word with you.

Sagacious's avatar

@rebbel They go too far when they take away a driver license for one year up to possibly three. Take away the possibility of practicing one’s profession and taking care of a family will drive someone to drink or worse. Impaired driving laws should attempt to keep impaired people from the wheel of a car. The states are finally getting it and starting to use the interlock systems where one must blow into a machine installed in the car before the car will start. This is embarrassing and expensive but it goes to the real reason for having DWI laws.

jca2's avatar

I didn’t click on the link but what says the texting wasn’t done with the car pulled to the side of the road, or parked in a parking lot with the car running?

@Sagacious: It’s possible to get the license back for limited use for commuting to and from work, and for while at work. A lot of people I know who go out drinking now will take a cab or Uber. Without such punitive drinking and driving laws, those people would still be driving to the bar.

Sagacious's avatar

@jca2 Not in all states! This is a subject I’m familiar with and have worked with. Some states had/have the most ridiculous laws you can imagine. And the sentences are mandatory!! No judicial discretion at all. And get a second one, it’s a felony. But like I said, some are backing off of the “you drove after drinking so lets ruin your and your family’s lives” stupid mentality. Keep drunks from driving. Thank you to states which do just that.

Your friend would not be driving home from the bar if his or her car would not start after they blew into the machine. That is what an interlock device is. Should someone let another blow for them, it could be disastrous. It will be detected. This my point; this method will keep drunks from driving. Of course, he or she might drive a car that is not their own. God help them if they get caught. Taking a cab is, and has always been, a responsible choice.

https://www.lifesafer.com/products/interlock/

Dutchess_III's avatar

There are ways to argue that it is a rights violation to have to undergo a breathalyzer test when you are stopped for erratic driving, @Darth_Algar. You can refuse it, but then that’s an admission of driving drunk.
I think too many American’s carry this “rights” business way too far, into the realm of the ridiculous.

jca2's avatar

@Sagacious: I know what the interlock device is. A friend’s cousin’s son is on probation and has one.

In NYS, there are mandatory sentencing laws as well. The judge will grant the license to help get people to work, in some cases. If someone lives in a place where they can’t get that, then oh well, they need to be more careful from the get go and not drink and drive.

jca2's avatar

In New York state, if you refuse the breathalyzer, it’s an automatic loss of the license for 6 months.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Isn’t it against my rights to be told I’m not allowed to drink and drive?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Dutchess_III “I think too many American’s carry this “rights” business way too far, into the realm of the ridiculous”

On the contrary, we have let too many go if you asked me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Like which ones @ARE_you_kidding_me? The police don’t have the same unaccountability like they used to. It the 60s they could do whatever the hell they wanted. I don’t think any one was held accountable for Kent State.
Black people didn’t have the right to vote.
Husbands could do whatever they wanted to their wives and children.

From where I sit, my rights have increased drastically.

I still say that if you feel it’s a violation of some right to punish people for texting and driving, then it’s also a violation of rights to punish people for drinking and driving

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: A driver’s license is a privilege and not a right.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. I agree. Being allowed to drive is also a privilege, and one you can lose when you start putting other people in danger.

Sagacious's avatar

@Dutchess_III You can drink and drink; you just can’t have a blood alcohol reading above a certain point.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Thank you for demonstrating that you have no clue what the IVth Amendment is or what it means, and that you have no understanding of people’s beef with this.

jca2's avatar

@Dutchess_III: You contradicted yourself above. One post, you said “I still say that if you feel it’s a violation of some right to punish people for texting and driving, then it’s also a violation of rights to punish people for drinking and driving” and another post you said “Being allowed to drive is also a privilege, and one you can lose when you start putting other people in danger.”

MrGrimm888's avatar

I’d be all for it

Dutchess_III's avatar

I should say that I agree with you. Driving is much more of a privilege than a right, and, as such, can be taken away. Texting and driving is at least as dangerous as drinking and driving, yet when someone comes up with punishing texters, someone else starts crying about their “rights.” They don’t cry about their “rights” when it comes to punishing drinking and driving, though.

rebbel's avatar

I don’t think some people cry about punishing the texters, but more about the state wanting the right over their smartphones (thus having potential insight in people’s lives way further than just the fact if someone texted or not).
Punish me when I text while driving, but they need to come up with a different method (red-handed?).

Dutchess_III's avatar

@rebbel, If your child was run over by someone who was texting while driving, would you give a flying fuck about the driver’s “rights?”

The police can pull you over on suspicion of drinking and driving, and then they prove that you were. They should be able to pull you over on suspicion of texting and driving, and then have a way to prove that you were. Surely they can come up with the technology that can remotely tell if text data was sent from your phone, without seeing literally what was said.

rebbel's avatar

No, I likely wouldn’t, but I had to.
You know, the law and such.

Inspired_2write's avatar

I was going to say maybe the cellphone should have a deactivation one in a moving car but what about emergencies?
Its too bad that devices have to be created to make people responsible in driving a machine that kills.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Cell phones contain soooo much data that does not involve driving. It’s essentially like a search on a residence. A warrant should be required.

MrGrimm888's avatar

It’s illegal, in my state, to text and drive.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK. So tie up the judicial system with warrants out the ears.

ragingloli's avatar

Yes, that is how a just and free society works. If you are so worried about “getting things done”, you should push toward a return to an absolutist monarchy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I do not see how drinking and driving is punished severely, but we make excuses for texting and driving and people are dying.

ragingloli's avatar

No one is making excuses for texting and driving.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This whole thread is making excuses, mostly about “Mah rights!”

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

This is because “Mah rights” trump the police being able to just rifle through my belongings without a warrant. If they can come up with a system that detects texting while driving without doing that then fine. Until then…get a warrant.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Are you dense? Nobody’s pushing for the “right” to text while driving. What we take issue with is the flagrant disregard for Constitutional protections against warrentless search and seizure. There is a lot of personal information stored on most people’s cell phones. Maybe you don’t care, but I, for one, am not willing to just hand over such personal info just because Officer Chucklefuck “thinks” I might have been sending a text while driving.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why don’t they need a warrant to have you take a breathalyzer when they stop you on suspicion of drunk driving?
So, what is the answer? Issue the ticket and then subpoena the phone / text records? And if they’re guilty, the civilian has to pay the costs involved? The point is, we HAVE to do SOMETHING. We can’t keep ignoring it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

You can always refuse a breathalyzer. Most lawyers would tell you to do that anyway. They may try to take your license but that’s when you hire said lawyer. That’s also just a check for BAC. Downloading and analyzing the contents of a phone is so much more than that.
Engineering controls is the answer here though, not policing. This is a seriously easy problem to fix. It just takes buy in from the manufacturers or legislation enacting the texting lockouts. I can think of at least five ways.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Dutchess_III They don’t “Write a Ticket”, for texting in most states, they write the ticket for vehicular homicide with texting/distracted driving. That is when they get the warrant for the phone.
There has to be a law broken; if there is not a law against texting while driving, they can’t use a Textalyzer.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They should be allowed to ticket people for suspected distracted driving, before they have to issue a “ticket” for homicide.

I’m listening @ARE_you_kidding_me. What are some solutions?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Let me ask you this -

Hypothetical: You’re driving late at night, you’re speeding (since it’s so much “fun”). Officer sees you speeding and pulls you over. Maybe he suspects that you’ve knocked a few back, so he wants you to prove that you haven’t been drinking. Yeah, he can do a breathalyzer, but, he reasons, that only establishes that your blood alcohol level isn’t at a certain threshold at that moment. He wants to know that you haven’t been drinking at all that night. So he wants your credit/debit card number so he can verify that it hasn’t been used to purchase alcohol that night.

Do you feel comfortable with this? Do you agree with it? Afterall, we have to do something, right?

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s ridiculous @Darth_Algar. It’s not the same thing at all. If an officer suspects you of texting, all he needs to to is go to the last text you sent and see the time stamp. I don’t have a problem with that.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Sure, that’s all he needs to do. But you know full and well that it will not stop at that. How much personal, private, information are you willing to surrender?

Dutchess_III's avatar

No I do not know full and well that it will not stop at that. I say they can give you a ticket for suspected driving and texting, then you go to court and they have to prove that you did it. And they’ll get a hell of a lot more information by subpoenaing your phone records than they would by one cop looking at the phone for a few seconds.
And if you’re guilty, you get to pay for all of it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

We are close to this anyway but integrate your phone with your car. The driver uses their phone as the “key” When the phone is in the key mode and the vehicle is not in park texting is locked out.
Simply require a phone to be paired with the vehicle for it to operate then lock the texting features out when it is in motion.
My truck at work does text to speech and I can control it with voice commands. Make part of a teenagers drivers license exam to demonstrate how to operate hands-free.
Make the phone require a consent flag check when the phone is in motion and texting is initiated. Broadcast the flag in the Bluetooth header so everyone can see it. Require a manual reset…..

And on and on..

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Texting is not against the law ! Some states but not all it is against the law.

Ticket for breaking the law not for driving stupid !

Dutchess_III's avatar

Texting is banned for all drivers in 48 states and the District of Columbia.” The exceptions are Montana and Missouri. Because they are stupid. Source

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Stand corrected

Dutchess_III's avatar

You can sit, if you want. I’ll bring you some Halloween candy!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I have to take our excess over to the Elks Lodge for the candy bowl on the bar.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I usually take mine to the gals at the utility office!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Utility company is city/government run, no bribes. . . ha-ha.

Brian1946's avatar

Last Friday (Nov 1), I took my leftover pancreas punishers to a vegan Thai place I usually go to.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, I have to show them pictures of my grandkids as a bribe!

jca2's avatar

It’s not only texting that’s illegal. In NY state, details are in the link:

https://dmv.ny.gov/tickets/cell-phone-use-texting

Sagacious's avatar

I hope that no one here really believes that anything done on your smart phone is private and/or secure. If you want private and secure, you’ve gotta have wires.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I was told 50 years ago, “Don’t assume your telephone calls are totally private”, it was my father who worked in an aerospace company.

If had something private or confidential to tell someone is was always ‘face to face’.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I would be in support of a breathalyzer, to start every car too.
The problem with the phones being deactivated while driving, would be, what of you’re a passenger?

I.have a friend who drives a lot, for his job, and other things. He watches fucking movies, while driving. I have had a discussion with him about this. His response, was to insult me. I was only trying to bring up the obvious carelessness, of the behavior. He didn’t take that well. I suspect that a lot of people wouldn’t…. Not sure how laws would be passed, with so many people being against device control….

And, there have been many valid points made, on this thread, about the legality of a cop being able to search your phone.

I don’t see any viable solutions.

Dutchess_III's avatar

We lived without cell phones for millions of years. We can drive for for a little while with out them. Balance how many times you’ve used your phone as a passenger in an emergency against how many people have been killed from distracted driving. It does not compute.

And I echo @Sagacious. If you think your phone calls are private, you’re crazy.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Then. I guess we hold drivers responsible for basically nothing. When we could hold them responsible for for their actions?

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s my point in a nutshell. You screw up behind the wheel of a car, you get your car taken away. Geez. It’s a lesson we start learning at 18 months old.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Could clarify?

Dutchess_III's avatar

When you’re 18 months old and you mistreat a toy, you lose that toy. I don’t see how a car is any different, especially since your mistreatment could result in someone’s death.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III _“No I do not know full and well that it will not stop at that. I say they can give you a ticket for suspected driving and texting, then you go to court and they have to prove that you did it. And they’ll get a hell of a lot more information by subpoenaing your phone records than they would by one cop looking at the phone for a few seconds.
And if you’re guilty, you get to pay for all of it.“_

- Yeah, Dutchess, you do know. If you really don’t think that police will abuse any power given to them they you’re incredibly naive.

- Is there anything wrong with them having to prove, in court, that you are, in fact, guilty of what you’ve been accused of?

- No, if they subpoena your phone records they get a record of your calls and texts. Nothing more. An officer looking through your phone (especially if he has some kind of electronic aid) can get a hell of a lot more information than that if he wants. Information that has nothing to do with the alleged violation. He could access your bank information, personal conversations between you and whoever. Depending on whether of not you use your phone to access one of these web portals for your doctor’s office the officer could access your health records. Maybe that phone has intimate photos from a woman to her husband.

Again, how much privacy are you willing to surrender?

Sagacious's avatar

@Darth_Algar The fact that you believe what is in your mobile phone and any and all transmissions are private makes you seem naive.

Dutchess_III's avatar

There is nothing in my phone that any one can’t look at. No porn, no naked pictures. It makes me wonder what’s in YOUR phone @Darth_Algar. If going through my phone saves even one life, I’m perfectly fine with it.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Well. A LEO, with probable cause, can already search your vehicle, and even your body. That’s pretty invasive already. If you are a female, they can have a female officer search your vagina…
If you’re actually arrested, you lose your rights, and freedom. Well, most of your rights…

And if it’s deemed necessary, then they can already get access to pretty much anything.

I think certain rules could be added, to ensure that you were just texting, or not…Soon, all LEOs, will be wearing body cams. That kind of violates their own rights. I never had one, but I would had liked to. It would have kept me out of court, for lies people told about me. I With the exception of having to do some illegal moves, when fighting multiple people, I never did anything wrong. I was fighting for my life, or someone else’s. When I was occasionally armed, I never pulled my pistol. I always just used my hand to hand skills.

jca2's avatar

If a search warrant was needed to access your phone’s records (not simply taking your phone and looking through it), from the phone provider, it would take more time and be more of a hindering process than just the cop doing some clicking around. It would also reveal more than just clicking around your phone. It would reveal deleted messages and the times they were sent or received (as will be found during a crime investigation, when they look at every text that was sent and where you were when you sent it, and where you were throughout the day).

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Sagacious

Oh, I’m well aware of just how easily information can be pilfered from the interwebs and other methods of mass communication. That does not, however, mean that one should just willingly hand over such information to any LEO who asks. If they want it then let them obtain a warrant for it, as per the Constitution.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@Dutchess_III

And there it is. Since I oppose such gross Constitutional violations I must be up to something nefarious. Go stuff it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sometimes I think people get so high up on their Constitutional horse that they can’t see reality or common sense any more.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Sometimes I think people are so passive that they would willingly surrender each and every right, without a word, ”something (anything, anything at all) just has to be done”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would do just about anything if it meant saving some child’s life, maybe one of my own grandkids. I don’t give a rat’s ass who looks through my phone! It’s a non issue for me.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Do you still seriously not get it? The phone itself isn’t the crux of my opposition here. It’s the unconstitutional search and seizure. Would you allow a police officer to come in and search all through your home, all without a warrant, on the logic that it might save someone’s life?

What other rights would you give up on the premise that it might save someone’s life? Shall we compel you provide soldiers with housing and food at your expense? Maybe we could do away with protections against double jeopardy. Or maybe the right to effective legal council?

MrGrimm888's avatar

Dutch. I can’t speak for Darth. But he seems to be a man of principles. That’s what I’m perceiving. I can see his logic. It doesn’t matter, to him, what he has on his phone. It’s a personal device, and he doesn’t want people to be able to violate his personal life. I get it… It’s a slippery slope issue too.

What if, in the future, cops could use a device that reads your mind? And then you’re judged by every thought you ever had?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Darth_Algar, watch this video please. I went to high school the with children’s grandmother. The driver and 3 of the 6 kids in the SUV were killed. 3 kids survived. One was Izzy Kitterman and she has a Facebook page someone maintains for her. I’ve kept track of her fight. She was 13 years old when the wreck happened. She’s had to learn to walk and talk again. She’s still in a wheelchair. She’ll never be 100%.
I stand on the principle that my privacy is not more important than any child’s life, and if my privacy needs to be “invaded” for a good damn reason, then go for it.

ragingloli's avatar

In the trade we call this “acceptable losses”.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther