Police radar gun that shows if you're texting?

Think radar guns can only detect your speed? A company in Virginia is trying to extend their use.

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ComSonics even trains lawyers on the sheer accuracy (and limitations) of its radar guns. Now one for texting? ComSonics/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

He's sitting casually on his macho bike. He's pointing his radar gun down the road toward you.

For all you know, the thing doesn't even work. For all you know, he's just stopped there to sing to himself.

Still, you know that cop may be checking your speed. Soon, however, he might be using that radar gun to check whether you're texting. A company called ComSonics is working on a radar gun that can pick up radio frequencies that identify texting drivers.

As the Virginian-Pilot reported Tuesday, ComSonics claims its device isn't far away from production.

Some might fear, however, that, in this world of Googley snooping, such a radar gun might be able to pick up the content of your texts, as well as merely the fact that you're texting.

ComSonics Calibration Services Manager Malcolm McIntyre admitted to the Virginian-Pilot that there are certain legal obstacles to be overcome.

What's fascinating about this technology is that it can allegedly distinguish between texting and calling. In ComSonics' home state of Virginia, for example, texting and driving is illegal, whereas talking on the phone and driving is not (for adult drivers).

Some painfully logical thoughts still appear unresolved. How, for example, will such a technology be able to tell whether a driver is texting, rather than another passenger in the car? Will it only, in fact, target lone drivers?

I have contacted ComSonics to ask for enlightenment, and will update, should I hear.

The company is one that is very confident in its equipment. It even educates lawyers (as if that's possible) on the limitations and abilities of its speed radar guns.

I wonder, though, how quickly lawyers will train themselves to find all sorts of arguments to fight yet another piece of technology used by the police.

After all, the legend that is the speed camera has enjoyed something of a checkered reputation.

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