Police have traditionally used radar guns to target speeders. While that won’t necessarily change moving forward, a Virginia-based company is developing a new radar gun model that not only monitors a driver’s speed, but will also be capable of detecting whether someone is texting and driving.
According to a National Safety Council report, general cellphone use causes 1.6 million crashes, with 330,000 resulting from texting and driving each year. The report also states that approximately 660,000 drivers attempt to improperly use their phones while they’re behind the wheel every day in the United States. What’s even more disturbing is (according to the report) texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
These statistics alone should be more than enough to warrant crackdowns on drivers that text, and this technology is the first step in that direction. Developed by a company called ComSonics, the radar gun catches texting drivers by picking up radio frequencies that cellphones give off when someone sends a message.
While the police officer theoretically needs to just pick up the text message frequency coming from a driver’s car for confirmation, the process isn’t that simple and many are concerned about the discrepancies that could potentially arise. Despite ComSonics’ claims that the radar guns won’t expose the content of a driver’s texts since they aren’t designed to decrypt information transmitted by drivers, many critics of the device are insisting this could become a real issue.
Although the radar gun’s technology is capable of distinguishing radio frequencies emitted by phone calls and text messages, there are some questions that remain unanswered about the radar gun’s accuracy. Can the device determine if the car’s driver or passenger is the one sending text messages? Should the radar gun only be used on solo drivers? What if the driver is using hands-free technology to compose text messages?
ComSonics is aware there are several legal obstacles to surmount, along with the scenarios just mentioned, before their radar gun is made available to consumers. Despite the potential issues that may arise from using this device, its overall intentions aim to keep our roads safe and driver’s eyes away from their phones. I’m sure the radar gun’s developers are working towards further perfecting this gadget that could potentially mitigate one of the biggest dangers that careless drivers bring when they get behind the wheel.