April is Distracted Drivers Awareness Month and New York is focusing on drivers who text and drive. In an effort to temper the dangerous practice, Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a new zero tolerance policy for drivers who fix their eyes on their phones instead of on the road.
According to New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico, text and driving is “just as dangerous as speeding or driving impaired.” A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that looking away from the road for two or more seconds doubles the risk of an automobile crash and the average driver removes his or her eyes from the road for 5 seconds when sending a text. In 2014, there were more than 48,000 car crashes due to driver inattention or distraction.
Governor Cuomo has worked with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee as well as state and local law enforcement to crack down on drivers who text and drive. As a result of these efforts, officers issued 84,720 texting tickets in 2015, a staggering 840% increase from the 9,015 tickets issued in 2011.
Both New York residents and out-of-state drivers who text and drive are subject to the applicable New York Vehicle and Traffic Laws and penalties. A person who uses a cell phone while driving faces fines ranging from $50 to $400 and 5 points on his or her license. A probationary or junior driver may also be penalized with a 120-day license suspension for a first offense and a mandatory one-year license revocation if a second offense is committed within six months. A texting ticket is also likely to drastically increase insurance rates.
If you have been ticketed for texting while driving, contact the Rosenblum Law Firm, or call 1-888-203-2619 today for a free consultation. Adam H. Rosenblum is an experienced traffic attorney who will fight to have your ticket removed.