'Textalyzer' lets police scan driver's phone

Police in New York may soon have a new weapon to catch people who text and drive.  It called the "textalyzer".

Ben and Debbie Lieberman know the pain of losing a child.  Their 19 year old son Evan was killed 5 years ago by someone who was texting and driving.  The Lieberman's have worked closely with some state lawmakers who have proposed a bill allowing the police to use a device called the textalyzer.  It's a play on the breathalyzer device used to find drunk drivers.

If you're in an accident police would be able to scan your phone with the device and it would tell them if you were texting at the time of the accident or moments before.

Brooklyn state assemblyman Felix Ortiz is co-sponsoring the bill.

Assemblyman Ortiz says an Israeli company is currently developing the textalyzer. He says the scanner will only be able to detect if a driver was texting.  He claims it will not be able to read the text or gain access to your contacts and other information in your phone.

The New York Civil Liberties Union is not convinced

"I think there is much that is needed to be done and that can be done both to address the problem and respect the privacy rights of drivers," NYCLU Director Donna Lieberman says.

Under the proposed legislation if a driver refuses to allow police to scan their phone, they could lose their license.

Assemblyman Ortiz is hoping the bill passes before the legislature breaks for summer on June 20.