Philadelphia Injury News

Philadelphia Police : New Device to Check Texting Drivers Phones

The police departments in Philadelphia are anxiously looking forward to having a new gadget in their traffic enforcement arsenal.  It’s not a stun-gun or an additional pair of polymer gloves. This one’s going to be a game-changer, and it has the car accident lawyers in Philadelphia concerned. The police in Philadelphia will soon get their hands on a device that will affect all drivers who text and drive.

The Stunning Facts About Texting and Driving in Philadelphia

Texting and driving is responsible for approximately 341,000 deaths each year.  These accidents continue to be a huge problem for Philadelphia police.  

In fact, Philadelphia car accident lawyers often find themselves working with clients who have been victims of accidents involving texting and driving.  Here is why:

  • The minimum amount of time it takes to send a text message is 5 seconds.
  • Text messaging while driving makes you 23 times more likely to crash.
  • 34% of Americans admit that they text and drive.
  • 13% of the accidents involving drivers ages 18-20 are a result of texting and driving.
Philadelphia Driver texting when Driving

Police may adopt a new device that can tell when a driver has been texting

There’s little argument that something needs to be done to better enforce the current distracted driver laws.  

A New Age of Enforcement

There is an Israeli software development company, Cellebrite, that is developing a new tool that will tell the police if the driver of a car had been texting behind the wheel before he crashed into something. Just like the breathalyzer tells the police drivers were drunk, this new enforcement aide will check drivers’ mobile phones and tell the cops if they had been texting. In other words, you won’t be able to get away with texting while driving.

Is this new technology a blessing or a curse?

Underlying this seemingly simple move to enforce the laws better is a very complicated debate: Will this progress do more harm than good? This is what has your car accident lawyer concerned.

The device itself is being manufactured by an ordinary Israeli tech company going by the name of Cellebrite, but there’s something about this company that cannot be overlooked. It’s the same company that helped the FBI crack the San Bernardino iPhone—something the FBI couldn’t do on its own.  

Why are Philadelphia car accident lawyers worried about police using this device?

According to many Philadelphia car accident lawyers, demanding that drivers’ phones be searched is a violation of privacy.  In this day and age, a person’s cell phone is a direct look into his personal life, and Philadelphia car accident lawyers are concerned that police may see more than they need to see when searching drivers’ phones.

Statistics show that people use their phones to access a lot of private and personal information.

  • 62% of smart phone users get their private health information delivered to their phones.
  • 57% of users do their banking from their device.
  • 44% of people who have smart phones use them to shop for real estate or search for places to live.
  • 43% of citizens use their phone as a tool to search for employment.
  • 40% of cell phone users utilize their devices to search for government services.

Since people use these devices to access private information, some of which is protected by privacy laws, there is cause for concern.  Asking anyone to surrender to the possibility that the police might have access to such information is very troubling to Philadelphia car accident lawyers.

Odds are that the police are not going to abuse their right to have access to personal material. But the point is, human beings need a feeling of privacy. There’s no privacy without the right of privacy. You cannot feel safe by just assuming that you’d never come across an ambitious, get-it-by-hook-or-by-crook-style cop. You need more than that. And this is where the Philadelphia police are debating with the car accident lawyers.

Can technology glitches violate privacy despite their good intentions?

The legislators need to convince their electorates that this gadget won’t give Philadelphia cops unrestricted access to their phones. The cops will still not be able to see the personal photos, contacts, and other data in the phone. Cellebrite, the tech firm behind the gadget, has given assurances that the device won’t let the cops barge in unbridled into the driver’s phone.

The police and advocates for implementing such a device are less concerned with privacy and more focused on safety.  They argue that the police would only know if drivers have been texting, but they won’t even be able to read those texts. The messages themselves will still remain private.

But, technology has been known to fail.  And this is another reason that Philadelphia car accident lawyers are troubled with the thought of such a device.

There are a number of issues that are raising red flags for Philadelphia car accident lawyers. First, citizens absolutely trust that cops are doing a good job, but they don’t want them to take a wrong path to do it. Breach of privacy could have serious consequences for the person affected.

Second, citizens want the police to go after reckless drivers in Philadelphia who wreak immeasurable damage because they couldn’t resist the temptation of replying back after a few minutes. But, there should be a way to do it without getting hold of the driver’s private data.

Third, regardless of the tech firm behind it, glitches are common in the world of technology. You can’t be sure the cops won’t know a secret way the gadget leads straight into your inbox.

Conclusion

Technology is without a doubt synonymous with progress.  But, the mindset of so many is that technology is the only solution to solve problems.  While it is certainly a viable tool, it can also lead to a wealth of damage—especially with regard to privacy.

Not everybody can afford a good car accident lawyer. When all’s said and done, we can only hope that the legislators pushing the bill to get this potentially powerful tool into the hands of the Philadelphia police have thought it through.

Related Posts

About Steve F

Back to Top