WGN SPECIAL COVERAGE: SUV drives into Woodfield Mall

Proposed ‘textalyzer’ law would let police see if drivers were texting before a crash

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NEW YORK -- Police in New York state may soon have a new weapon to determine if drivers were texting at the time of a car crash.

A proposed law would allow police to use a device called a "textalyzer." If approved, the law will give officers the power to ask for a driver's cell phone and use the "textalyzer" to access the phone's call and text log.

Drivers who refuse to comply, would face similar consequences to drivers who refuse a roadside breathalyzer.

Ben Lieberman from Distracted Operators Risk Casualties joined WGN Morning News Tuesday to talk about the law. It will be named "Evan's Law" after Liberman's 19-year-old son, who died from injuries sustained during a head-on crash with another teenager.

State police didn't charge the other driver, Michael A. Fiddle, with a crime. But Evan's father, Ben Lieberman, sued Fiddle and discovered that Fiddle had been using his phone at some point during the drive that morning.

One of the important questions that came up during the WGN interview is privacy. The "textalyzer" only allows access cell phone logs --  not the actual content.

"We don't want to infringe on anybody's privacy, but I also don't want to bury another child," Liberman said.

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