If police have a Textalyzer, he says, "people are going to be more afraid to put their hands on the cellphone.
The author's purpose in this sidebar is to describe how the device known as the Textalyzer would work to help police determine if a driver involved in an accident had been using a handheld device.
The idea behind Textalyzer
, which is being developed by Israel-based tech company Cellebrite, is to curb the frequency of distracted driving in the city.
But supporters of the Textalyzer say the device wouldn't violate this standard because it wouldn't be able to access any private information; it would simply tell the police, within about 90 seconds, whether anyone has activated a keyboard, typed on a keyboard, or swiped the screen of the device.
The authors of the New York bill that would authorize police to use the Textalyzer say they've based the concept on the same "implied consent" legal theory that allows police to use the Breathalyzer: Because driving is a privilege, rather than a right, it comes with conditions and can be revoked.
New York lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow law enforcement officers to field-test the Textalyzer on a driver's phone after a crash.
Unlike the Breathalyzer, the Textalyzer isn't preventive.