This New Device Catches People Who Text and Drive

Sophie Miura

If you're caught driving above the speed limit you could be asked to hand over more than just your license. According to Ars Technica, a new device dubbed the "textalyzer" could force drivers to surrender their cell phone to police for testing after a driving offense. 

Just as a breathalyzer allows officers to test blood-alcohol levels, the textalyzer gives authorities the power to prove whether a phone was unlawfully used moments before a car accident. While the device is ready for use, its creators Cellebrite are waiting for first-of-its-kind legislation to be approved before it can be rolled out in New York. Concerned about data security? The device would keep conversations, contacts, and other confidential data private in order to avoid Fourth Amendment privacy laws. 

"When people were held accountable for drunk driving, that's when positive change occurred," says lobbyist Ben Lieberman, who lost his 19-year-old son from a text-and-drive incident. "It's time to recognize that distracted driving is a similar impairment, and should be dealt with in a similar fashion. This is a way to address people who are causing damage."

Considering eight people die each day in the U.S. as a result of distracted drivers, the textalyzer could save thousands. 

Shop the in-car speakerphone below, then visit Ars Technica for the full story. 

How do you feel about handing your phone over to authorities after a car accident? Tell us in the comments below. 

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