Police in New York state may soon have a high-tech way of catching texting drivers: a device known as a textalyzer that allows an officer to quickly check if a cellphone has been in use before a crash, reports the Associated Press.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday directed the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to examine the technology and the questions about privacy and civil liberties its use would raise.

The device is called the textalyzer because of its similarity to the Breathalyzer, which is used to identify drunken drivers. Once plugged into a person’s phone for about a minute, it will indicate whether a motorist was texting, emailing, surfing the web or otherwise using his or her cellphone before a serious crash.

Supporters of the technology say the officer would not be able to access personal information on the phone, such as pictures, emails or web browsing history.

The technology is still some months away from being ready, according to Cellebrite, the Israel-based tech company developing the device.

 

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