New Jersey law prohibits the use of a hand-held wireless communication device for talking or texting while driving. However, anyone who spends time in traffic in the Garden State knows that a significant portion of the motoring public ignores that law. This creates a great safety concern, since tests have shown that texting takes a driver’s attention away from the road for a dangerous amount of time. And, as the New Jersey Department of Transportation reports, 1,668 crashes in the state involved hand-held cellphone use in 2015. New Jersey police already issue almost 90,000 citations a year for these violations, carrying fines that range from $200 to $800. What more can be done to discourage the practice?
NJ.com recently reported that authorities in New York State are looking into a device called a textalyzer, which allows police to examine a cellphone to determine whether texting activity occurred around the time of a crash. Many in New Jersey are wondering whether our state should do likewise.
According to NJ.com, “Officers plug the driver’s smartphone into the textalyzer via a cord, and time-stamped information is downloaded about apps used prior to a vehicular accident.” Civil liberties advocates object to the textalyzer, calling use of the device “an invasive search into a person’s life without a warrant.” But, the definition of the search as invasive depends on the type of information the device downloads and whether a motorist has a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding that information. Theoretically, the textalyzer search could be limited in scope, but then how useful would such information be? If the textalyzer determines the driver received a text just prior to an accident, is that evidence the driver viewed the text?
We must also be skeptical any time authorities attempt to evade a warrant requirement. Warrantless searches are permissible when there is an exigency, such as imminent harm to a person or the destruction of evidence. In the case of an accident possibly caused by texting, the harm has already occurred, and there is no threat of the data going away before police could get a warrant. However, the textalyzer would allow cops to issue citations without going through the warrant process. This would make ticketing more efficient and profitable. But if total law enforcement efficiency is the goal, why do we have civil liberties at all?
There may be a way to tailor the law so the textalyzer search does not offend the Constitution, but the advantages of this tool seem slight when compared to the opportunity for abuse.
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Bergen County or anywhere in New Jersey, consult an experienced personal injury attorney at Seigel Law as soon as possible. Contact us online or call 201.444.4000 today for a free case evaluation.
Recovery on behalf of the 16-year-old girl injured by electrical malfunction
Jury verdict in a catastrophic injury case
Settlement for a fractured arm in Passaic County
Settlement for a woman in Bergen County injured in a trucking accident
By Teresa R Perez - January, 2018
I have had a great experience thus far. The personal injury process is stressful and they have been helpful and courteous in getting me the right referrals. I was injured while visiting NJ and live in another state, my case is not an easy one but they are working diligently to help. I appreciate the personalized attention and highly recommend this firm.Read More
By Miriam Smith-Leone - December, 2017
The law office was great with my back and neck injury. They directed me to the right doctors and got me a huge settlement. Being a single mom, it help pay off all my debt and bills. Me and my kids can have a bill free christmas, with plenty of food and happiness, stress free. They are the best ever and I would highly recommend them to anyone rich or poor, who has been in an accident and need legal help...Read More
By L C - October, 2017
After the misfortune of suffering an injury, I had the good fortune to choose Seigel Law to represent me. During my initial meeting with Jan Seigel, I found him to be extremely confident and reassuring---he totally put me at ease. I was represented by Mark Mc Bratney---an EXCELLENT attorney. He was supportive and professional through the entire process, and provided an excellent outcome for my case.Read More
By Liliana Paredes - October, 2017
Honest, trustworthy and very straight forward. In unvarnished truth Jonas Siegel will tell you exactly where you stand and what direction you should go. Jonas has tenacity coupled with a degree of tenderness, but never losing site of the end goal, which is to protect, defend and have the best outcome for his clients. I defenetly recoment this law firm. Thanks for helping me out in my case.Read More
By Oren Goldshmidt - September, 2017
I'd like to thank everyone at segal law for the amazing experience they provided me. From the moment I stepped in to the end of the case , segal and his team delivered exactly what they promised. I couldn't have received any better treatment from a law firm. Any concerns, questions or problems I had were addressed and dealt with accordingly...Read More
By Maria P.
Law firms doesn't get any better than this. Their team went over and above what they needed to do to settle my case and make me happy. Thank you.Read More
By Tiffany M.
Looking for friendly staff , people always willing to help you and putting people first no matter the circumstances ... look no further than Seigel Law!Read More
By Rafal B.
I highly recommend this law firm. I had a great experience. They were very professional and answered all my questions and concerns. I will definitely recommend them to all my friends and family.Read More
The legal landscape is a difficult one to traverse and Seigel Law helps one navigate properly and get the best possible outcome. I wholeheartedly recommend them to my family and friends.Read More
By Laurie C.
My experience with this law firm was very positive. Everyone was extremely professional and knowledgeable. They took time to listen, answered all my questions, and provided me with the help I needed.Read More
"The lawyers at Seigel Law know how to get you the results you want. Jan Seigel and His team returned every one of my phone calls, listened to me and worked with me to a desirable outcome. Seigel Law definitely goes above and beyond to protect the injured." - B.M.
"After my car accident, my life turned into a disaster. Dealing with everything became impossible. Jan Seigel and his people helped me with every aspect of my injuries and the insurance companies so I could focus on healing. They helped me through everything and they got me what I was due." - M.P.
"I found the personnel to be very efficient, and work very quickly. I'm happy that I was referred to this firm, because I found that I was very comfortable working with them." - F.V.
"Amazing. I have to say they were very supportive and were able to give me tons of information. I didn't feel rushed and felt they truly cared about my well-being. Their website is also extremely helpful and well setup." - T.D.