July 12, 2012
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces More than Four Times as Many Tickets Issued for Texting-While-Driving Since Tough, New Law Took Effect

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today marked the one year anniversary of the state's strict law to prevent distracted driving by announcing that law enforcement officials issued more than 20,000 tickets to motorists for texting-while-driving violations since the law took effect on July 12, 2011, four times as many than the previous year.

 

The law put in place by the Legislature and signed by the Governor last year makes using a handheld electronic device for activities such as texting-while-driving a primary traffic offense, giving law enforcement the power to stop motorists solely for engaging in this activity. Additionally, the penalty for using a handheld device while driving was increased from two to three points. In the year before the law was passed, New York law enforcement officials issued 4,569 tickets for texting-while-driving violations.

 

"The major increase in tickets issued for texting-while-driving violations since this law went into effect demonstrates its usefulness in helping our law enforcement authorities crack down hard on distracted driving," Governor Cuomo said. "Using a handheld device while driving puts other motorists in danger and can lead to tragic consequences. These tickets should send a resounding message to all drivers: keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel. I thank the State Police and local law enforcement for their dedication to ensuring the safety of the people of the state of New York."

 

Recent research has shown that motorists who use handheld electronic devices while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. The behavior of such drivers can be equivalent to the behavior of drunk drivers at the threshold of the legal limit of .08 BAC. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed more than 3,000 deaths last year to distracted driving, calling it a dangerous epidemic on Americas roadways.

 

A county by county breakdown of tickets issued before and after the law is below:

 

    COUNTY
TICKETS ISSUED

 

7/12/10- 7/12/2011
TICKETS ISSUED

 

7/12/2011-7/12/2012
    ALBANY
75539
    ALLEGANY
514
    BRONX
91900
    BROOME
22103
    CATTARAUGUS
1045
    CAYUGA
976
    CHAUTAUQUA
23130
    CHEMUNG
2792
    CHENANGO
440
    CLINTON
1673
    COLUMBIA
554
    CORTLAND
2285
    DELAWARE
118
    DUTCHESS
59324
    ERIE
2261,418
    ESSEX
610
    FRANKLIN
527
    FULTON
521
    GENESEE
850
    GREENE
1116
    HAMILTON
1
    HERKIMER
1152
    JEFFERSON
1273
    KINGS
5403,234
    LEWIS
431
    LIVINGSTON
2350
    MADISON
1975
    MONROE
110687
    MONTGOMERY
1745
    NASSAU
162505
    NEW YORK
8073,714
    NIAGARA
73214
    ONEIDA
38126
    ONONDAGA
797479
    ONTARIO
887
    ORANGE
67292
    ORLEANS
8
    OSWEGO
1446
    OTSEGO
761
    PUTNAM
2275
    QUEENS
4013,334
    RENSSELAER
21163
    RICHMOND
157205
    ROCKLAND
69151
    SARATOGA
42326
    SCHENECTADY
1869
    SCHOHARIE
49
    SCHUYLER
34
    SENECA
841
    ST LAWRENCE
12265
    STEUBEN
14108
    SUFFOLK
185908
    SULLIVAN
532
    TIOGA
1367
    TOMPKINS
20139
    ULSTER
54246
    WARREN
15166
    WASHINGTON
1021
    WAYNE
674
    WESTCHESTER
148720
    WYOMING
318
    YATES
2
TOTALS4,56920,958
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