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'Textalyzer' allows police to scan phones of suspected distracted drivers

The new technology can help police discover whether a driver was texting at the time of an accident


By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — Police in New York may soon implement a device that allows officers to discover whether a driver was texting at the time of an accident, FOX 5 reported.

State lawmakers are trying to implement the ‘textalyzer,’ a play off the breathalyzer. The device would allow responding officers to scan a driver’s phone to see if they were texting. 

Developed by an Israeli company, the new technology would not be able to read texts or gain access to contacts -- it would only detect if a user was texting. The New York Civil Liberties Union was not convinced the device would protect civilians’ privacy.

"I think there is much that is needed to be done and that can be done both to address the problem and respect the privacy rights of drivers," NYCLU Director Donna Lieberman told the news site.

Under the current legislation, if a driver refused to show police their phone, they could lose their license.

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