NEW YORK CITY– Every day, an average of nine people die on the road because of distracted driving. And what are we most distracted by? You know– our cell phones.
So a bunch of dorks have gotten together to try and put an end to all this.
The group ‘Distracted Operators Risk Casualties’ (DORCs, for short… seriously) have been pushing hard to get legislation passed in New York that would force drivers to turn over cellphones after an accident. That’s when a new App would come into play.
You’ve heard of a breathalyzer? Meet the Textalyzer. It tells cops if you were using your phone right before an accident.
Robert Greenstein, town supervisor of New Castle, New York, and a strong supporter of the bill, explains, “We don’t care who you’re texting with. We don’t care whose facebook status that you were looking at. We don’t care what you were doing on the internet. It’s a question of usage.”
The machine is the brainchild of Cellebrite, the folks credited with helping the FBI hack the iPhone.
“Any tool that can help us do our job better and keep citizens safe is gonna be a good idea,” says Sgt. Joe Klinkovsky, a patrol seargent in West Universty. There, they have implemented an ordinance that bans texting and driving altogether. (FYI: it’s not illegal in Texas unless you’re in a school zone, under 18 or drive kids on a bus).
But just because it’s law in West U, doesn’t mean people follow it. “I’ve seen more people paying attention to the phones than the roadway,” Klinkovsky says, “and when you do that, you’re a danger to yourself and others.”
67% of us admit we use cell phones while driving, according to the American Automobile Association. Once the Textalyzer is legalized in the Big Apple, if you refuse to turn over your cellphone at an accident scene, your driver’s license will be revoked immediately– guilty or not.
Tough tactics! But it may be the only way to stop a habit that is killing more and more of us everyday.