If you are anything like most people, you actively try to avoid getting pulled over for speeding or other traffic infractions. We know that if we speed, an officer with a radar gun is likely to find and catch us. So we keep our speed to the speed limit and obey the law. With the advent of smartphones and texting, though, not everyone is following the laws. These people continue toplace us all in danger by texting while driving. With new radar guns that can detect when a driver is texting, those days may be coming to an end.
These new radar guns operate with a new technology that can pick up signals being emitted from vehicles as they barrel down the roads. Smartphones ping and send out signals that get altered with the checking and sending of text messages. When these radar guns are turned on vehicles, they detect drivers who are actively engaging in the texting, being distracted, and thus endangering many lives. One of the radar guns in development is coming from German-based tech company ComSonics.
ComSonics Anti-Text Radar Detector
The ComSonics anti-text radar detector works by picking up the minute radio broadcasts emitted from a smartphone that is being used to send or receive texts. The radar gun technology is impressive, and is almost ready to be sold to law enforcement. The only thing keeping it from use is the final hurdle of approval. This is just a formality, however, and it is expected that the text radar technology will be available and in use by the end of the year.
One of the very interesting and shrewd aspects to this radar gun tech is the ability to differentiate between the signals emitted from the smartphone when making calls, and those emitted when texting. This means that for those states where calling and driving is legal (such as Virginia, for one) the driver will not get pulled over from an errant strike by the radar gun. However, if the driver is texting and driving, the gun’s tech will be able to pick up the signal.
There are still issues surrounding the radar gun. One such example is the risk of the radar gun being tripped by passengers who may be texting. In cases like these, it becomes apparent that the officers will have to use the radar gun tech and their training visually assess if the driver is texting. Obviously if there is only the driver in the vehicle, it’s easy to assume that the driver is the one who is texting.
Another major issue with this tech is the question of security and privacy. If the radar gun can detect texting taking place, it is reasonable to assume that law enforcement will make a push to the tech developers to give them the ability to essentially “intercept” the content of the text messages, something that is illegal in the United States and many other countries. This is a major issue for those who value privacy and view this as a violation of their rights.
There is no doubt we need to maintain safety and remove texting drivers from the roads. But until the questions are addressed, this new tech should be approached with guarded caution. Stay safe, don’t text and drive, and always be a smart and courteous driver.