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New Texting and Driving Legislation for New York

Starting last week, new legislation by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo mandates that the penalty for texting and driving will cost New York drivers 5 points on their license for a first offense. Prior to this new legislation, texting and driving in the state of New York would cost a driver 3 points against their license.

Reckless driving is also a 5-point offense, which indicates that New York now sees texting and driving as just as big a threat. Currently, texting & driving and reckless driving are punished more severely still than driving up to 20mph over the speed limit.

Governor Cuomo stated that the New York driver's mindset tends to be one of fearlessness…it can never happen to me. Cuomo is the father of two teenage daughters, whom he had in mind when passing this legislation. He hopes that harsher penalties will further discourage drivers from engaging in the practice. The New York Police Superintendent said that over 1,000 of these tickets were issued against drivers last month.

In addition to this, Cuomo has proposed legislation to inflict harsher penalties for new drivers who text and drive. He has suggested that a first offense for a new driver would be a 60-day license suspension. This would include both probationary and junior-licensed drivers.

The first texting and driving offense for a regular New York driver is five points. Get 11 points against your license within an 18-month period, and a driver will face license suspension.

Cuomo first started drafting legislation regarding texting and driving in 2011, when he implemented the 3-point rule for first offenses. His 2011 legislation also made law enforcement able to pull a driver over for texting and driving alone. In some other states, law enforcement cannot pull a driver over solely for texting, but rather the driver must also have violated some other traffic law.

Texting and driving is a deadly dangerous mix that has cost lives, caused uncountable car crashes and cost millions of dollars in property damage costs. In all of the motor vehicle accident cases where we represent injured victims, our office routinely demands that the defendant's cell phone number be turned over during the discovery phase of the pending litigation.

With the defendant's phone number and identification of the cell phone carrier, we then subpoena the defendant's phone records to ascertain if they were texting or talking on their cell phones during at the time of the car accident.

Categories: Car Accidents


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The Law Firm of Steven I. Fried, P.C. - Bronx Personal Injury Attorney
Located at 5600A Broadway, Bronx, NY 10463.
Phone: (212) 964-5777.
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