Look out Fourth of July drivers! Governor Andrew Cuomo just announced today that a $1 million effort is officially underway to crackdown on texting while driving.
The Governor revealed that New York police will be traversing roadways and highways in unmarked New York State Police SUVs specifically looking for drivers holding cell phones and portable electronic devices.
The summer texting ticket blitz comes off the heels of brand new legislation that officially increased the amount of points a driver can receive for distracted driving. Now, a texting ticket in New York is 5 points (the same amount as a NY cell phone ticket).
These SUVs are part of the Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) fleet that police have been using in order to more easily identify motorists who are texting while driving. CITE vehicles are specifically designed on higher than average platforms than most cars. This affords officers a greater ability to see into other vehicles and detect people sending text messages.
Unlike most unmarked police cars, these vehicles actually look like ordinary, non-police vehicles and come in all sorts of colors to guarantee that they blend in with the traffic on the road. Additionally, they are equipped with hidden, high intensity emergency lights and can detect drivers very well both in the day and at night.
Governor Cuomo explained during his major media announcement, “Texting-while-driving is a dangerous practice that will not to be tolerated on New York’s roads and highways.”
He also said, “There is no excuse for distracted driving, and with this operation New Yorkers can be sure that the state police are watching the road, even if other drivers are not.”
The announcement of this summer texting ticket blitz and enhanced enforcement of distracted driving comes a mere day before the Independence Day holiday, which is known for having a large volume of cars on New York roads.
Furthermore, State Police Superintendent, Joseph A. D’Amico revealed that aside from the standard DWI checkpoints, speed enforcement crews, move over law detail, and motorcycle safety stations, a fleet of state police will be set aside for the sole purpose of identifying distracted drivers.
The Superintendent told reporters, “This new enforcement campaign the Governor announced today will help us ensure the safety of all those who use New York’s highways and encourage drivers to obey the rules of the road, use caution, and drive safely.”