Ever since New York's statewide ban on text messaging while driving took effect over a year ago, more than 20,000 texting tickets have been issued.
The law lets police officers pull over drivers specifically for texting while driving.
Previously, a law passed in 2009 made texting in NY a secondary infraction. That meant police could only issue a texting ticket if a driver was pulled over for another offense like speeding or driving recklessly.
Currently, however, police have the ability to more aggressively enforce the law and go after those who text while driving.
The 2011 law also increased the penalty for using a handheld device while driving from 2 points to 3 points.
In the year just prior to the passage of the 2011 law, New York police issued 4,569 tickets for texting-while-driving. At the time that seemed like a lot.
Since then, according to Governor Cuomo, 20,958 texting tickets have been issued!
He noted in a statement, "The major increase in tickets issued for texting-while-driving violations since this law went into effect demonstrates its usefulness in helping our law enforcement authorities crack down hard on distracted driving."
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute came out with a report concluding that motorists who were texting while driver were 23 times more likely to get in a car accident than those who did not.
Since that study, many states have been issuing traffic tickets for texting while driving and numerous advertisement campaigns have shown up on television describing the dangers of doing so.
According to Governor Cuomo and recent statistics, before the July 2011 law went into effect, Albany issued 75 texting tickets. However, after its passage, the amount given shot up to 539.
In the Bronx, issuance went from 91 to 900 and in Erie it went from 226 to 1,418.
If you or a loved one recently received a NY traffic ticket for texting while driving, make sure to contact an experienced New York traffic ticket attorney.
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