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The Textalyzer: Will It Reduce Distracted Driving?

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What is a textalyzer, and how can it help reduce distracted driving in Tennessee?

Police describe the textalyzer as a “breathalyzer for your phone.” But whereas breathalyzers analyze your breath for traces of alcohol, textalyzers analyze your phone to determine whether your phone has been recently active.

How it works: a police officer pulls you over. Perhaps you are driving erratically, or perhaps the officer is responding to an accident. Whatever happened, the officer is now speaking to you. The officer suspects that your behavior/accident may be the result of distracted driving. So, using the textalyzer, the officer scans your phone. The textalyzer detects that you were talking, typing or swiping on your phone in the time leading up to a crash/while you were driving erratically.

Some believe that textalyzers are the next great tool to help deter drivers from using their cell phones while driving. Others believe textalyzers are a serious violation of privacy, since officers do not need a warrant to scan your phone.


Tennessee’s Due Care law says that you are allowed to talk on your phone while driving. However, if using your phone is leading to impairment on the road, law enforcement can take action.

State Rep. Bo Mitchell is sponsoring a law that would make it mandatory to hand over your phone to officers if you are involved in an accident involving injury or death that the officer believes may have been caused by distracted driving. The bill has been tabled until 2018, but the discussion remains alive.

Do you think textalyzers are a good or bad thing?

Romans 12:12, “Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.”

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