New York sees an increase in texting while driving citations

There is no question that texting on a cellphone is one of the most dangerous practices that one can engage in while driving. According to distraction.gov, approximately 421,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents and more than 3,300 were killed in similar incidents. New York officials have taken several steps to help decrease the number of injuries and fatalities that occur each year as a result of distracted driving car accidents. Despite the strict laws banning handheld cellphone use and texting while driving, people continue to engage in these dangerous behaviors.

Increase in texting tickets across the state

Over the past year, the number of tickets given for texting while driving in New York has increased by more than 82 percent, as reported by WGRZ news. New York law enforcement issued 30,000 tickets in 2012 and an incredible 55,000 tickets in 2013. Some believe the increase in texting is a result of young people, and their need to stay in constant contact with friends. Many young people believe that they are able to text and drive proficiently and are unaware of the harsh consequences that this act may bring.

Cracking down on distracted drivers

In order to crack down on drivers who continue to text and drive, the governor of the state has submitted a proposal to increase the license suspension period for people under the age of 21 caught texting and driving from its current six months to one year. If passed, New York would take the lead as having the strictest texting and driving laws in the nation. Young people found disobeying the law will also receive five points on their license, as opposed to the previous three points, according to the governor.

The state has also succeeded in increasing the fine for people who are cited for texting and driving to $150 for a first offense. Those who are cited twice within 18 months may be required to pay up to $200 and three citations can cost up to $400, according to state officials.

Distracted driving

In New York, distracted driving goes beyond texting and driving. According to Safe New York, it is illegal to engage in any of the following activities while driving:

  • Taking, viewing or transmitting images.
  • Reading, composing or sending email or texts.
  • Browsing the internet or retrieving electronic data.
  • Talking on a handheld cellular device.
  • Playing games on a cellular device.

When to contact an attorney

Being involved in a car accident can be both physically and emotionally traumatizing. People who have been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver should contact a reputable attorney. A lawyer can help organize a case to ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.