Drivers in Vermont could have phones searched to look for evidence of texting

Police in Vermont could soon be allowed to look through drivers’ cell phones without a warrant to search for evidence of texting while driving.

A 2014 state law bans the use of hand-held devices while driving, but State Rep. Martin LaLonde (D-South Burlington) has proposed a new bill to give police more powers during traffic stops.

The bill, H.527, assumes that drivers automatically consent to warrantless searches of their electronic devices simply by driving on Vermont roads. However, critics claim the measures would violate people’s privacy rights.

Currently no state in the country allows warrantless cell phone searches.