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Andrew M. Cuomo - Governor

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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Albany, NY (July 12, 2012)

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 America’s 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
75 539
    ALLEGANY
5 14
    BRONX
91 900
    BROOME
22 103
    CATTARAUGUS
10 45
    CAYUGA
9 76
    CHAUTAUQUA
23 130
    CHEMUNG
27 92
    CHENANGO
4 40
    CLINTON
16 73
    COLUMBIA
5 54
    CORTLAND
22 85
    DELAWARE
1 18
    DUTCHESS
59 324
    ERIE
226 1,418
    ESSEX
6 10
    FRANKLIN
5 27
    FULTON
5 21
    GENESEE
8 50
    GREENE
11 16
    HAMILTON
1
    HERKIMER
11 52
    JEFFERSON
12 73
    KINGS
540 3,234
    LEWIS
4 31
    LIVINGSTON
23 50
    MADISON
19 75
    MONROE
110 687
    MONTGOMERY
17 45
    NASSAU
162 505
    NEW YORK
807 3,714
    NIAGARA
73 214
    ONEIDA
38 126
    ONONDAGA
797 479
    ONTARIO
8 87
    ORANGE
67 292
    ORLEANS
8
    OSWEGO
14 46
    OTSEGO
7 61
    PUTNAM
22 75
    QUEENS
401 3,334
    RENSSELAER
21 163
    RICHMOND
157 205
    ROCKLAND
69 151
    SARATOGA
42 326
    SCHENECTADY
18 69
    SCHOHARIE
4 9
    SCHUYLER
3 4
    SENECA
8 41
    ST LAWRENCE
12 265
    STEUBEN
14 108
    SUFFOLK
185 908
    SULLIVAN
5 32
    TIOGA
13 67
    TOMPKINS
20 139
    ULSTER
54 246
    WARREN
15 166
    WASHINGTON
10 21
    WAYNE
6 74
    WESTCHESTER
148 720
    WYOMING
3 18
    YATES
2
TOTALS 4,569 20,958

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