Let’s say you’ve been in an accident. The police officer goes through the normal drill, asking for your license and registration.
Then the officer goes a step further. “Could I have your cellphone, please?”
If New Jersey state Sen. James Holzapfel gets his way, he would let cops confiscate cellphones if the police have “reasonable grounds” to believe that the driver was talking or texting when the wreck occurred.
The police would be required to return the phone after thumbing through its history.
The legislation is designed to cut down on distracted driving. But it comes at a time when revelations that the government has been monitoring our phone calls and online activities have shaken our sense of privacy.
The bill set off alarm bells with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. “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.
Right just after an accident,
You might just wonder where your cellphone went,
The police on the scene may take it away,
And there’s absolutely nothing that you can say.
They’ll check your phone log just to see,
If you made a phone call, or two, or three.
If you made a text just before the crash,
It will cost you a lot and not just in cash.
They make take your license so you can’t drive,
So you can’t do that stupid texting jive,
You may even end up in a jail,
Where you’ll, cry and sob, and certainly wail.
Please don’t do a call or text while you drive,
So you and your friends will arrive all alive,
Don’t use the phone and avoid a crash,
Cause jail ain’t like a spring break bash.
© 2013 Ronald J. Yarosh