Throughout New York State, record numbers of tickets for texting while driving were issued.
26 counties in the state more than doubled the amount of texting tickets they issued including Broome, Steuben, and Cayuga.
Broome County police officers wrote 356 texting-related tickets last year, which is up from 168 in 2012.
In Cayuga County, 238 tickets were issued in 2013—a 129% increase!
Local law enforcement agencies have attributed the rise in traffic tickets to special grants they received from New York State.
The number of texting while driving tickets issued in New York skyrocketed after the state changed the violation from a secondary offense to a primary offense back in 2011. That gave law enforcement the go ahead to pull drivers over simply for texting or holding onto an electronic device (VTL 1225d).
Additionally, sheriff’s offices in Broome, Chemung, and Tompkins counties have used grant money to fund special texting-while-driving task forces where officers use unmarked cars to catch offenders.
This is often done with one officer in an unmarked “spotter” car watching for drivers who are on the phone or touching an electronic device. Then, that “spotter” alerts a second officer waiting down the road when the vehicle is approaching.
The spotter cars are usually SUVs that are higher off the ground, making it easier for officers to peer down and catch a person who might be texting with the phone in his or her lap.
In a rather revealing statement, Chemung County Sheriff Christopher J. Moss stated, “If you don’t have those SUVs and unmarked cars, it’s really hard to prove [that a driver was texting], especially if somebody denies it.”
The following data is a breakdown of the texting-while-driving tickets (VTL 1225d) issued in area counties in 2013 vis-à-vis those in 2012 for the same offense:
• Broome: 356 (168 in 2012), up 112%
• Steuben: 282 (137 in 2012), up 106%
• Tompkins: 252 (147 in 2012), up 71%
• Cayuga: 238 (104 in 2012), up 129%
• Chemung: 165 (107 in 2012), up 54%
• Chenango: 83 (51 in 2012), up 63%
• Tioga: 69 (47 in 2012), up 47%
• Delaware: 34 (18 in 2012), up 89%
• Schuyler: 16 (4 in 2012), up 300%
If you recently received a New York State traffic ticket, contact Rosenblum Law today at 888-883-5529.