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New York on verge of passing 'Textalyzer' bill to catch distracted drivers

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(Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

NEW YORK – New York is close to passing a bill that will make it legal for police officers to check a driver's phone for possible signs of distracted driving.

Forbes reports the "textalyzer" will allow officers to time-stamp which phone applications, if any, were running during the time of an accident.

Like similar penalties with breathalzyers, drivers would face penalties if they refuse to all their phones to be tested. Drivers who choose to not surrender their phones could have their license suspended.

New York State lawmakers on both sides support the bill and claim the textalyzer will not give officer's access to personal information. According to the report, the device will only determine if drivers had been tapping and swiping on their phones.

The bill is currently moving through the New York state legislature.

More than 10,000 traffic fatalities were reportedly caused by distracted drivers last year.