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All Press Releases for December 06, 2013 »
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Will New York initiatives save lives by stopping texting and driving?

People who try to multitask while driving by texting or using other smartphone capabilities can cause serious accidents.
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    December 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Many New York City residents lead hectic, fast-paced lives, and when some of these time-pressed people get behind the wheel, the outcome can be unfortunate. People who try to multitask while driving by texting or using other smartphone capabilities can cause serious accidents that could easily have been prevented. Fortunately, in the last several months, the New York government has taken several steps to make the roadways safer by deterring people from texting while at the wheel.

New measures to stop texting

According to ABC News, there have been a number of recent changes in New York that raise penalties for distracted driving. An article published in July stated that Governor Andrew Cuomo had taken the following steps as part of a $1 million program to reduce texting and driving:
- Making a distracted driving offense worth five, rather than three, points on a driver's license.
- Signing legislation to extend the wait for license reinstatement for new and young drivers who lost their licenses because of distracted driving.
- Assigning special undercover vehicles to specifically target people who are texting and driving.

Additionally, in September Governor Cuomo announced the creation of "texting zones" where motorists can pull over to text or otherwise use their phones. According to a press release posted on the governor's website, the texting zones will be located along the New York State Thruway and various highways, including I-81, I-84, I-86, I-87, I-90 and NY 17.

With a total of 91 zones planned, motorists should be left with little reason to continue texting while driving. The impressive results of this year's crackdown on distracted driving should also deter many people from risky distracted driving behaviors.

Results from summer 2013

According to the same press release from Governor Cuomo's website, the push against distracted driving is off to a strong start, with tickets issued during summer 2013 more than three times the number that were issued in 2012. During summer 2012, 5,208 tickets were issued for distracted driving, which is a very impressive figure. Last summer, a staggering 21,580 tickets were issued.

The focus on cracking down on texting and driving made a difference, as did the type of vehicle used to catch people texting. Conclusively seeing another driver texting is notoriously difficult for law enforcement officers, but the special vehicles commissioned in New York sit higher than an ordinary SUV does, according to ABC News. This allows law enforcement officers to easily see down into other vehicles and catch people on their phones.

These measures should give New York drivers strong incentive to drive responsibly and keep their full focus on the road. Of course, some drivers will probably still make irresponsible choices in spite of knowing the penalties and having access to safe and approved areas for texting.

If you have been harmed in an accident with a distracted driver, you should talk to an attorney as soon as you can about compensation that you may be able to pursue.

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