In Georgia, if an officer sees you texting while driving, you can be ticketed. A proposed New Jersey law would take distracted driving law enforcement to a new level by allowing officers to search the cellphone of any driver involved in a crash if they have "reasonable grounds" to believe the driver was texting or talking on the phone at the time of the accident. Officers would be required to return the phone after reviewing the call and text history.
Proving that texting or talking on a phone was the direct cause of an accident is difficult without actually examining the phone, legislation supporters claim. The ACLU, however, questions whether the law is constitutional.
"Our State and Federal Constitutions generally require probable cause before authorizing a search, particularly when it comes to areas that contain highly personal information such as cellphones," said Alexander Shalom of the ACLU-NJ according to a CNN report. "The legislature cannot authorize searches unless there is probable cause, therefore the bill is likely susceptible to a constitutional challenge."
According to Distraction.gov, 3,331 people were killed in 2011 in crashes involving a distracted driver and an additional 387,000 were injured. A 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey revealed at any given daylight moment, 660,000 vehicles are being driven by people using cellphones.
Do you believe police should be allowed to search a driver's cellphone after an accident to determine if he or she may have been distracted by a call or text? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.