Last Wednesday, Gov. Cuomo announced that he has directed the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to study “Textalyzer” technology, which the police can use after a vehicular crash to determine whether a cellphone was being used in the moments before a crash.  He said that this review is intended to “examine the effectiveness of using this new emerging technology” and to determine what implications it has in terms of privacy.

There is strong opposition to using this technology in this manner.  Opponents of it argue that while distracted driving is a serious concern, this technology would give police the power to take and search peoples’ phones — which contain their most personal, private information — at every fender bender. They also note that it is not clear whether this technology will even detect distracted driving, and say that the better approach is to promote greater public awareness of the dangers of texting while driving.