Data released last week showed a significant increase in tickets issued for texting while driving in New York. Since a stricter law was passed this summer, 7,495 tickets have been issued by law enforcement. This is up significantly from the 3,248 tickets given out during all of 2010.
Under the new law, texting while driving in New York is considered a primary offense. This means drivers do not have to be violating another traffic regulation in order to be pulled over by police. Previously, texting while driving was a secondary offense where police needed an additional reason to stop motorists.
In addition to the tickets issued for texting while driving, police gave out 111,262 citations since July for using mobile electronic devices while behind the wheel. Suffolk County had the greatest number of tickets issued to drivers talking on a cellphones with 5,355. Westchester County came in second with 4, 729.
Governor Cuomo released a statement indicating he was pleased with the enforcement efforts. “These tickets should send a resounding message to all drivers: keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.”
New York currently has some of the toughest distracted driving laws in the country, but more states may be following suit. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently called for a full nationwide ban on texting and talking on the phone while driving.
Hopefully stricter laws and tougher enforcement will lead to fewer distracted driving accidents in New York and across the country
Source: WGRZ,Texting Tickets Soared In New York in 2011, Aaron Scholder, 15 February 2012