New Radar Gun Might Soon Detect Drivers Texting on Cell Phones
If you have had the misfortune of rushing to work only to come across a police officer tucked away on the side of the road with a radar gun, you might not be a big fan of this technology. While speeding tickets are not something anyone is anxious to receive, law enforcement's use of radar guns can make speeding convictions easier to obtain. The higher conviction rate might provide more of a deterrent effect because speeding driver know they are more likely to get caught and punished. If radar guns slow drivers down, Georgia's roads are safer.
A new technology might soon provide a similar law enforcement tool for combating text messaging. A Virginia company named ComSonics® is in the process of developing a radar gun that can determine that a driver is texting inside a vehicle. The device works by monitoring radio frequencies given off from cell phones that are being used for texting. According to a CNET report, the device can accurately determine whether a cell phone has been used for calling or texting. The ability of the radar gun to determine the way a cell phone is being used is important because many states allow handheld or hand-free calling but not text messaging. For example, Georgia permits adults to make calls on cell phones but bans all drivers from text messaging.
The company concedes that the device is still in development. Further, certain issues are still unclear in terms of the application of the technology. Concerns might arise about the ability of police to not only determine that a driver is texting but also to monitor the content of the message. Another potential issue that the CNET article did not answer is whether the device can determine if it is the driver texting or some other vehicle occupant. If the device cannot make this distinction, then it could only be used to monitor texting in vehicles without a passenger. This type of targeting of solo drivers might also raise issues regarding discriminatory enforcement.
This is just one of a number of technology based strategies that have been promoted to prevent the dangerous practice of texting and driving. Some traffic safety experts have suggested new vehicles should be equipped with technology that blocks cell signals. This new radar technology would allow law enforcement to target text messaging, which is widely regarded as the most dangerous use of a cell phone when driving, while permitting limited hands-free use of a cell phone. Admittedly, the evidence is mixed as to whether hand-free restrictions offers much of a safety benefit when compared to handheld calling by motorists.
The bottom line is that cell phone use behind the wheel is always dangerous. Our experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates urge all Georgia drivers to turn their cell phones off.
If you are injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you might have a legal right to compensation. Call Us today for your free consultation.
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