Posted by Salvatore J, Zambri, founding member and partner.
Because distracted driving has become such a safety issue, the state of
New York has proposed controversial legislation that would require drivers
who have been involved in collisions to allow their phones to be roadside
tested for texting just before a crash by use of a device called a "textalyzer."
Similar to the long-time use of roadside Breathalyzer testing for blood-alcohol
levels, the new textalyzer technology is intended to assist authorities
investigating crashes to determine whether those invloved were driving
distracted. In order to avoid Fourth Amendment right to privacy issues,
the new technology is supposed only determine whether the phone was in
use prior to a collision but be able to keep conversations, contacts,
numbers, photos, and application data private.
The proposed legislation was introduced by the founder of an organization
called Distracted Operators Risk Casualties (D.O.R.C.), with a mission
of educating the public, advocating for enforcement and fighting for legislation
against texting and driving. According to the founder, "When people
were held accountable for drunk driving, that's when positive change
occurred. It's time to recognize that distracted driving is a similar
impairment, and should be dealt with in a similar fashion. This is a way
to address people who are causing damage."
CDC statistics, "Each day in the United States, over 8 people are killed and 1,161
injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver,"
representing approximately 20% of the collisions caused by distracted driving.
As more crashes are related to distracted driving, more ideas are needed
to determine how best to deter this very dangerous practice. While some
of those ideas will be controversial, such as the "textalyzer"
idea, there can be no denial that the problem is very real. Please drive
safely and sensibly. No call or text is worth killing or injuring yourself
or someone else.
About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified civil trial attorney by the National Board of Trial
Advocates and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan
Washington, D.C. The association recently named him "Trial Lawyer
of the Year".
Super Lawyers recently named him among the "Top Ten" lawyers in the Metro
Area (out of more than 80,000 attorneys). He has been rated by
Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 100″ lawyers
in the entire metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as "one
of Washington's best-most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes
in personal injury matters, including automobile accident claims, premises
liability, product liability, medical malpractice, and work-accident claims.
He has successfully litigated multiple cases against truck and bus companies,
the Washington Metropolitan Area transit Authority, and other automobile
owners. His law firm, in fact, has obtained the largest settlement ever
in a personal injury case involving WMATA. Mr. Zambri has also been acknowledged
as one of "The Best Lawyers in America" by
Best Lawyers (2014 edition) and has been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by
Super Lawyer magazine (2014) - national publications that honor the top lawyers in America.