New York eyes ‘textalyzer’ to combat distracted driving

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 22, 2016, file photo, a driver uses her mobile phone while sitting in traffic in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – New York lawmakers are considering a Breathalyzer of sorts to combat distracted driving from texting.

Legislation would allow police to use a so-called “textalyzer” to determine if a driver had been clicking, tapping or swiping a mobile device in the moments before an injury-involved accident.

Similar legislation is being considered in New Jersey, Tennessee and Chicago.

The idea already faces obstacles from constitutional and privacy advocates who are quick to note that police need the owner’s consent and a warrant to get cellphone records. They’re also concerned such technology would be used to access all of the personal information people may have on their cellphones.

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