Distracted driving is a problem, but should there be an app for that?

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 13, 2016

New York is in the process of considering a bill that would prompt anyone involved in a traffic accident to submit their cellphone for “textalyzer” testing.
What is “textalyzer” testing you ask?
As the name implies, it’s similar to a breathalyzer, in that officers would be armed with a special roadside test that could tell if the driver’s phone was being used prior to the accident, according to a story by PC Magazine.
To be honest, there’s already a test for that, look in the phone and see when the last text was sent.
However, that test would involve a warrant, to the best of my understanding, and would not detect if the phone was used for another purpose, such as to surf the Internet.
I will admit, distracted driving is a problem, even here in Pearl River County.
As I drive, I see people looking down at their phones instead of at the road from time to time.
While at a red light, drivers routinely have to honk to prompt the car in front of them to move when the light turns green, most of the time because they were looking down at their phone instead of at the road.
While I will admit from time to time I too look at my phone while waiting at a red light, meaning I’m one of those people who gets honked.
On the surface the “textalyzer” sounds like a great idea, but I see some flaws.
First, the details of the app don’t state whether it can detect if the phone was just being used for texting, or for anything else like checking email or surfing the Internet.
Second, I foresee a breach into people’s privacy, since this app is being made by the same company that is suspected to have breached the San Bernadino shooter’s iPhone.
Long story short, avoid distracted driving before a bill is passed in Mississippi to deter you from it.

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