Close Menu
Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP
Protect Your Rights: Call us for a FREE
Personal Injury Consultation

New Law Would Allow Police to Scan Phones with “Textalyzer”

Lady texting while driving

It seems that more evidence of the dangers of texting and driving emerges every day, and yet many drivers still read and write text messages while behind the wheel on a daily basis. While law enforcement and safety researchers understand that this is a major cause of serious accidents, it can be difficult to identify when a driver had been texting prior to an accident when the driver denies it occurred. If a bill currently before the New York state legislature passes, New York police will be permitted to scan the phone of anyone involved in an accident to determine whether they were texting prior to a crash.

The bill, known as “Evan’s Law,” came about as the result of a tragic accident believed to be caused by distracted driving. Evan Lieberman, a 19-year-old college freshman, was killed while riding as a passenger in his friend’s car while on the way to school. The driver claimed that he had fallen asleep while driving, but Evan’s father, Ben, was skeptical of this claim. He fought for years in court for the right to review the driver’s cell phone records, ultimately learning that the driver was in fact texting in the minutes before the crash.

In order to simplify the process of determining whether those involved in an accident were using their phones in the moments before a crash, Ben Lieberman approached the tech company Cellebrite to request their help. Spurred on by Lieberman, the company is now several months away from releasing a device they call the “Textalyzer,” which can be used to scan a phone to determine whether it has recently been used to text.

If passed, Evan’s Law would authorize police officers to use the Textalyzer to scan the phones of all drivers involved in a crash. Opponents of the bill have expressed concern that the bill would violate drivers’ privacy rights by enabling law enforcement to access their personal messages. However, the Textalyzer’s software was written in such a way that it cannot examine the content of any messages sent from the phone; rather, it identifies how a phone was used and the typing pattern on the keyboard, which can be indicative of texting. Only after the Textalyzer indicated that a phone was used for texting would law enforcement be able to request a warrant to read the contents of the messages sent. The bill has received approval from one New York State senate committee and is currently being considered by a second.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a crash with a distracted driver, seek help in getting the money damages you may be owed by contacting the dedicated and knowledgeable Hudson Valley car accident lawyers at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a consultation, at 845-331-4100 (Kingston), or 845-236-4411 (Marlboro).

Ulster County Lawyers

Connect With Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Kingston Office

255 Fair Street, P.O. Box 3356
Kingston, New York 12402

Phone: 845-331-4100
Fax: 845-331-6930

Marlboro Office

1390 Route 9W, P.O. Box 727
Marlboro, NY 12542

Phone: 845-236-4411
Fax: 845-236-3190

Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP, is located in Kingston, NY and Marlboro, NY and serves clients in and around Ulster County as well as parts of Orange, Dutchess, Columbia and Greene Counties as well as many surrounding areas.

Get Driving Directions

Attorney Advertisement

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from www.RWHM.com

Designed and Powered by NextClient

© 2015 - 2017 Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP. All rights reserved.
Custom WebShop™ law firm website design by NextClient.com.

Contact Form Tab