Dramatic increase in tickets for texting while driving: 700%Staff writer ▼ | April 14, 2015
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that tickets issued to motorists for texting while driving increased 35 percent statewide from 2013 to 2014.
New York Safety on the road
In New York City tickets jumped from 31,835 in 47,914.
Improving safety on the roads is a priority for Governor Cuomo, who has spearheaded several initiatives targeted at reducing distracted driving, including texting while driving.
"This reckless behavior endangers everyone on the road and has resulted in far too much needless tragedy," Governor Cuomo said.
Statewide, police agencies handed out 75,353 tickets in 2014 for texting while driving, compared to 55,673 in 2013. The biggest increase was in New York City, where tickets jumped from 31,835 in 2013 to 47,914 in 2014 – an increase of 50 percent.
Under current New York State law, motorists caught texting and driving face up to a $450 fine and five points on their license. Probationary and junior drivers could face a 120 day suspension for a first offense, and can lose their license for one year if a second offense is committed within six months.
Governor Cuomo last week announced the latest Operation Hang Up initiative, which continues through Wednesday. Law enforcement agencies statewide are targeting distracted drivers through special patrols. Funding to police agencies for Operation Hang Up and other special initiatives is provided by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC).
The GTSC provides grants to the New York State Police and local police agencies to combat distracted driving, drinking and driving, speeding and other targeted enforcement activities. ■