BUFFALO, NY - It's a device that has got a lot of you talking on social media — it's called the Textalyzer. The device allows police in event of a car crash, to scan your phone to see if you were on your phone at the time of the crash.
Gov. Cuomo has announced that he wants a traffic safety review to look at the Textalyzer and its impacts, if police were allowed to use it in New York State.
It seems that people are really split over the textalyzer of whether it's a good idea or not. Some think that it can improve safety and keep drivers honest. Some have concerns about whether it will give accurate information to police.
Let's face it, many of us on the road have either seen someone else on their phone while driving, or been guilty of being on your phone while behind the wheel.
A bill in the state Legislature would allow police, after a motor vehicle crash, to seize your phone or tablet, and run it through a textalyzer, to see if you were distracted at the time of the crash. Senator Chris Jacobs is a co-sponsor of the bill.
"It has the potential for being a good step in trying to combat the problem of texting and driving," Jacobs said.
The textalyzer can detect more than just texts, but also calls and if you were on the internet. If drivers refuse to hand their mobile device over, their license could be suspended or revoked. Civil rights advocates have a lot of problems with the bill and the use of this technology by police.
"My concern immediately would be against illegal searches and seizures. Under the Fourth Amendment, there is no warrant requirement provided under this textalyzer and I just don't think it's a good thing to have police going through a person's phone without the idea of a judge signing off," said criminal defense attorney Mike Taheri.
REPORTER: What would you say to those who are concerned about privacy with the textalyzer?
"I think there's a legitimate issue always in any new law regulation," Jacobs said.
The governor has directed his traffic safety committee to study and issue a report on the textalyzer and the impacts it could have.
The inspiration for this bill and new technology came from a father downstate who lost his son in a crash, that involved a driver who was texting while driving.