'Textalyzer' could provide new tool for police

Texting drivers could get new tool to curb texting behind the wheel

ROCHESTER, N.Y. --- A new tool aimed at curbing texting and driving could be making its way to New York.

A proposed bill in the New York State legislature would allow law enforcement to use a device that can immediately read whether or not a person was using their phone at the time of a crash.

It's called "The Textalyzer." The device connects directly to a person's phone.

"It should be a law. A lot of people are getting hurt because of texting," said Jamilah Lii.

"Initially it sounded a little intrusive, but after hearing what it is used for, I think it sounds fair," said Casey Nati.

The device can't read actually text messages, just whether or not one was sent or received at the time of the crash. Supporters said it is no different than a breathalyzer used to stop drunk driving.

But not everyone agrees.

"The breathalyzer is related directly to the driving task. The cell phone has a lot of other things going on with it and a lot of privacy issues," said attorney Peter Pullano.

Pullano is skeptical of the law. He said the current system works.

"When it's required, officers request a warrant and a judge will sign a warrant," said Pullano.

Pullano expects any legislation to challenged under the 4th Amendment.

The proposed legislation is in memory of a Westchester County teen who was killed in a distracted driving crash in 2011.

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