New York testing out ‘textalyzer’ to bust drivers for texting while driving

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Andrew Cuomo says his traffic safety committee will be taking a closer look at the technology behind the “textalyzer” tool.

The device is similar to a Breathalyzer, but instead of helping police detect if a driver was drinking, it determines if he or she was texting while driving.

Here’s how it works. Either police find your phone at the scene of a crash, or you hand it over yourself. They can then plug a cord in to your phone and attach it to their tablet using the appropriate software.

The ‘textalyzer” manufacturer says the device won’t allow police to read your texts, but it will tell them the exact time you last activated an app, whether you were texting, emailing or scrolling through Facebook.

Governor Cuomo says despite the State’s ban on hand-held cellphones while driving, people continue to put themselves and others at risk, and he says those drivers should be held responsible.

Critics are concerned it would give police access to too much personal information.

Supporters say the tool could cut down on distracted driving and make roads safer.

Governor Cuomo’s traffic safety committee will not only be taking a look at the technology, but will also consider privacy and constitutional aspects of the device.

The tool is still months away from being ready to launch. Under the proposed legislation, drivers could lose their license if they refuse to turn their phones over to police.

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