Textalyzer Project May Result In New Law [The Post-Journal]

Originally published in The Post-Journal on May 16, 2019.

A proposed pilot project in Westchester County could result in statewide legislation to allow police departments to use electronic scanning devices to determine if a driver involved in a car crash was on a cellphone or other electronic device at the time of the crash.

Despite New York banning the use of handheld devices while driving there is no effective protocol to determine whether the behavior caused a crash. Currently, law enforcement relies on an eyewitness or an unlikely confession,” Mayer wrote in the legislative justification for the bill. “Phone records provide an insufficient portion of information that excludes for example; emails, social media, selfies, games, iMessages and apps. All of those popular functions are bundled under data and are therefore inseparable. Phone records are also difficult to obtain.”

Mayer’s legislation was approved by the Senate’s Transportation Committee, 10-1, on Tuesday. There have been no votes in the Assembly, where the legislation has been referred to the Transportation Committee.