Cuomo: NY to study ‘textalyzer’ technology

A New York panel will study whether a device dubbed the "textalyzer" should be used to determine whether a driver was using their cellphone prior to a crash.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to review existing "textalyzer" technology, any constitutional or legal issues with using the devices and what would be needed to implement the technology in New York.

Once the committee completes its work, it will issue a report.

The textalyzer has been described as a breathalyzer for cellphones. Police officers could use the device to access a driver's phone and determine whether there were any calls, emails or text messages sent by the driver while operating a vehicle.

The device is being developed by Cellebrite, a company based in Israel.

New York has adopted measures to combat distracted driving. According to the governor's office, 1.2 million tickets were issued for cellphone-related violations in New York from 2011 to 2015. There were 217,021 tickets issued in 2015, a decrease of 16 percent from 2011.

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