All over the world, it's not hard to find local laws concerning distracted driving. Although things like eating, speaking to the person in the passenger seat and even changing clothes have caused accidents in the past, no single cause of accidents has ever become the poster child for distracted driving quite like cellular phones. From the earliest models held up against a shoulder and an ear to modern devices that allow messaging and web browsing behind the wheel, causing an unprecedented amount of distracted driving accidents and bringing the practice international attention. A new bill that's currently in committee with the New York State Senate, Bill A8613A, looks to penalize the practice a bit harder and make it more difficult to fool law enforcement into thinking that your phone had nothing to do with a crash.
Informally named "Evan's Law" after the son of the lobby leader that got the bill up and running, the bill essentially states that drivers involved in a crash can either hand over their device or lose their license. From there, the device will be checked out using special equipment to see if the driver was using it immediately prior to the crash. If it was in use, of course, standard penalties for distracted driving, as well as at-fault status in the crash, will apply like any other case. What's interesting about this new law is the equipment that will be used. Specifically, phones will be analyzed by deep-combing hardware made by Cellebrite, an outfit out of Israel that was rumored to have been the FBI's helping hand in cracking the infamous San Bernardino iPhone.
The hardware is called a "textalyzer", and is capable of analyzing a device from top to bottom and giving up all of its secrets. In the interest of conforming to applicable privacy standards, the device will be toned down for law enforcement use, keeping details like numbers called or texted, apps run and images or video viewed completely private. To add a little extra bite to the bill, those who lose their license by not submitting their phone for testing will have to pay a non-refundable fee of one hundred dollars when reapplying later, whether their application is approved or not. While the bill has not become law just yet, it was received overwhelmingly well in senate and, barring a major last-minute turn of events, will likely be firmly in the books by this time next year at the latest.