Most of the time, when police investigate an automobile collision, they do not check the drivers’ cell phones to see if the driver was texting either immediately before or at the moment of the collision. Usually, that type of evidence is not obtainable until a records subpoena addressed to the driver’s cell phone carrier is sent after a lawsuit is filed. That time delay can result in cell phone records being lost or not maintained.
The October 2016 issue of the ABA Journal includes an article about the father of a victim of a texting driver in New York co-founded Distracted Operators Risk Casualties, a non-profit advocacy group supporting a bill in the New York Assembly that would allow police to analyze a driver’s phone without a warrant after a car crash to see if prohibited use had occurred. Amongst the impetus for this legislation was the 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey on Drive Electronics that found that at any given daytime moment, 660,000 drivers (9%) operate a vehicle while using an electronic device.
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