Saturday, 16 April 2016

Roadside 'textalyser' will treat drivers on smartphones like drunks

Police may start using a "textalyser" soon the new gadget will help them gauge if a distracted driver has been using their mobile phone before a road incident.

The move is in response to the rise  of instances of distracted driving that have led to accidents and death.

The idea was proposed by a draft legislation in New York, which would require drivers to submit their phones for testing, if pulled up by authorities.

"Reports indicate that 67 per cent of drivers admit to continued use of their cell phones while driving despite knowledge of the inherent danger to themselves and others on the road," the draft law said.
"Therefore, it is in the state's interest to treat this impairment with a similar methodology to that of drunk driving."

The new law, known as "Evan's Law" is named after 19-year-old Evan Lieberman, who died in a 2011 collision caused by a distracted driver. His father, Ben Lieberman, helped to draft and implement the law through his awareness nonprofit  Distracted Operators Risk Casualties (DORCS).

How the device would work

Obviously, due to privacy laws, police would not be able to force people to unlock their phone to check their recent calls, texts or social media activity.

Instead, the "textalyser" would look at metadata on the phone just to check whether it was used recently or not - keeping conversations, contacts, numbers, photos, and app data private.

Mobile phones are biggest accident risk in the UK

67 people were killed in Britain in the past three years purely because drivers were on their phones - and this doesn't include those who may have just put down their phones or been about to pick them up.

The Department for Transport has said that of 88 deaths caused by distractions in 2012, 17 (or 19pc) were due to mobile use – the highest death rate compared to other in-case causes such as people, children or sat-navs.

For more in depth information please read the article by the Telegraph

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