Tougher Texting While Driving Law Takes Effect Today

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WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Governor’s Office. November 1, 2014:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that stricter laws to crack down on texting while driving among young and inexperienced motorists go into effect today.

Under the law, new and young drivers convicted of texting-while-driving will have their license suspended for 120 days on the first offense, and revoked for a year if convicted of a second or subsequent offense within six months of reissuance of the license.

“Driving habits are developed early, and we are sending a message that texting while driving is unsafe, unacceptable and downright dangerous,” Governor Cuomo said. “There have been far too many avoidable tragedies due to texting while driving and with these new penalties, we are seeking to change the behavior of young drivers now, and make New York’s roadways safer for all.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. The age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

Governor Cuomo has made safe driving in New York a priority. From enforcing stricter penalties to keep drivers with a history of alcohol or drug-related offenses off the road, to cracking down on speeding and aggressive drivers, and to establishing special “Texting Zones” along roadways so motorists can pull over and safely use their mobile devices, this administration is actively working to adapt to changing trends and technology to best keep New York’s roadways safe. These efforts have additionally helped the New York Thruway recently experience its safest years in its history.

The increased penalties that take effect today were passed as part of the 2014-2015 Budget.

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