Lawmakers push for 'Textalyzer' to help crash investigations

April 30, 2019 11:15 AM

If you were involved in a car crash, how would you feel about handing over your cell phone to police? If certain legislation passes at the state Capitol, you might not have a choice.

In the not too distant future, motorists in New York State involved in car crashes might have to endure a Textalyzer – a hand held device that allows law enforcement to field test mobile devices at the scene of an auto crash to determine if the driver was illegally using the device at the time of the crash.


Experts believe texting while driving is five to six times more dangerous than drunken driving. AAA did a survey that determined 67 percent of all drivers admitted to the destructive behavior.

The problem is that when police write up accident reports, they seldom indicate the cause of the crash was because of cell phone use.

Lawmakers at the state Capitol want to enact a law to allow police to use a so-called Textalyzer device so that crash reports would be more accurate and more useful.

Advocates believes more accuracy in the reports would allow more state funding so that the public could be made more aware of the problem.

The person who has been instrumental in pursuing this legislation is Ben Lieberman of Westchester County, whose son was killed by someone using their cell phone while driving.

If the legislation passes, there'd be a pilot program established in Westchester County that allows local police departments to use a Textalyzer.

The hand-held Textalyzer plugs into your cell phone. It would allow police to find out if you had been texting or talking on your cell phone at the time of the crash.

Police would not be able to access personal information such as text messages, pictures, or contacts.

Hear more about why Lieberman says this device is so important by watching the video of Dan Levy’s story.


Dan Levy

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