OMG! New York state is cranking up its crackdown on drivers who text.
Gov. Cuomo announced Wednesday that he’s ordered his Traffic Safety Committee to review technology called the “textalyzer,” which would determine whether a motorist involved in a serious crash was using their phone beforehand.
“Despite laws to ban cellphone use while driving, some motorists still continue to insist on texting behind the wheel — placing themselves and others at substantial risk,” Cuomo said in a statement to the Associated Press. “This review will examine the effectiveness of using this new emerging technology to crack down on this reckless behavior and thoroughly evaluate its implications to ensure we protect the safety and privacy of New Yorkers.”
The governor’s committee will study the “textalyzer” device, as well as privacy and constitutional issues it could pose if implemented.
It will also hear from supporters and opponents of the technology, law enforcement officials and legal experts before issuing a report, Cuomo’s office said.
Cellebrite, the Israel-based tech company developing the device, said the “textalyzer” is months away from being ready.
The “textalyzer” has already garnered support from some state lawmakers.
Sen. Terrence Murphy (R-Westchester) last year co-sponsored a bill that would allow police to use the technology.
“This is a matter of keeping the community safe,” Murphy said at the time.
From 2011 to 2015, a dozen people were killed and more than 2,700 were injured in cellphone-related crashes in New York state, according to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research.
During that same time period, 1.2 million tickets for cellphone violations were issued.
This story originally appeared on the New York Post.