NJ bill would allow cops to search phones after accidents
The bill would allow police to confiscate a phone after an accident, and would increase the penalty for texting while driving
CBS New York
TRENTON, N.J. — Police in New Jersey may soon be allowed to search your cellphone after an accident. A bill proposed Monday in the New Jersey State Senate would require drivers involved in an accident to hand over their phones — no warrant necessary.
State Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Ocean County) introduced the measure over concerns about the rise in accidents linked to texting and calling while driving. Seton Hall Law professor Jenny Carroll said the bill may violate the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Bill S2783 states “whenever an operator of a motor vehicle has been involved in an accident resulting in death, bodily injury or property damage, a police officer may confiscate the operator’s hand-held wireless telephone if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the operator was operating a hand-held wireless telephone while driving.”