If you are a serial texter and you currently have a Class MJ, junior, or probationary license in New York, state lawmakers are sending you a message that you won’t want to miss. A new distracted driving law went into effect November 1, 2014, increasing the fines and penalties that new and probationary drivers will have to face if convicted of a texting while driving offense.
- First offense: Fine of $50-$200 and mandatory 120-day license or permit suspension
- Subsequent offense within 6 months of first offense: Fine of $50-$250 and mandatory revocation of license or permit for at least one year
- Subsequent offense more than 6 months after first offense, but less than 18 months: Fine of $50-$200
- Third Offense within 18 months: Fine of $50-$450
According to Governor Cuomo, the new law targets newly licensed drivers because driving habits are developed early and the Governor wants to be clear that texting while driving is “unsafe, unacceptable, and downright dangerous.”
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, about 10% of all drivers who were under 20 and involved in a fatal crash were distracted immediately preceding their accident. Further, a survey conducted by the administration found that motorists who look away from the road for as little as 2 seconds will double their risk of a crash, while those who are engaged in a secondary task such as talking or texting are 2-3 times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Despite knowing the dangers of texting behind the wheel, many drivers do it anyway according to a recent survey reported by the Associated Press. The survey shows that while 98% of drivers who own cellphones know that texting while driving is illegal, 75% of them admit to doing it anyway.
If you receive a distracted driving ticket contact The Rosenblum Law Firm at 888-883-5529 for a free consultation with an experienced traffic attorney.