Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice on Monday announced a five-point plan to help combat texting while driving in New York.
According to 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck, Rice’s proposal aims to arm courts with new powers and expects to push auto insurance companies and smartphone providers to ensure that their customers are not texting while behind the wheel.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a non-distracted driver.
Ms. Rice—who is a candidate for Congress—called texting while driving an epidemic and said something must be done to prevent distracted-driving tragedies.
“No information is so important that it’s worth your life,” she explained.
Her plan would require cellphone makers to use technology that blocks the ability of a person to text while driving, which is currently being used in navigation applications like Waze.
Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs noted that Ms. Rice also wants to offer insurance discounts to people who use phones or apps with the technology.
She is also recommending that traffic court judges mandate use of the technology as part of sentencing.
Furthermore, Ms. Rice would like NY police officers to more strictly enforce texting-while-driving laws even in cases where texting is a secondary offense in a stop for a higher-level criminal charge.
Ms. Rice revealed, “Because people are not going to take the chance … They’re not going to want the five points on their license. Insurance rates are already sky-high. They’re not going to want that to go through the roof.”
Last year, New York State increased penalties for teens caught texting while driving. Those caught texting, using a hand-held cellphone on the road, or touching an electronic device could face a 60-day suspension for a first offense. A second offense within six months would revoke a probationary license for six months and a junior license for 60 days.
If you recently received a NY traffic ticket for texting while driving, contact Rosenblum Law today at 888-883-5529.