Senator Kemp Hannon
6th District New York
Hannon: Increased Fines & Penalties for Texting While Driving

Senator Kemp Hannon and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo




HANNON: Increased Fines & Penalties for Distracted Driving


Senator Kemp Hannon recently joined with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to announce increased law enforcement patrols state-wide to control distracted driving, especially “Texting While Driving,” and to remind all drivers that beginning on July 26, a new law will increase the penalties and fines for texting, e-mailing and using handheld phones will driving.


The new law will increase the penalty from 3 points on a drivers license to 5 points, and also includes an automatic license suspension for young persons who text while driving.  Fines for using mobile devices will increase as well, to $150 for a first offense (plus an additional, mandatory $80 surcharge) to $400 (plus the $80) for a third offense.  Teens and probationary drivers, who have the least experience behind the wheel and may be most prone to such activities, will face 60-day license suspensions.


According to AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety, even though drivers disapprove of the practice of texting or e-mailing while driving, more than 25% of drivers admit to doing so.  Other studies have shown that distracted driving caused by the use of mobile devices is as dangerous as drunk driving, and as deadly.  The amount of time a driver takes his or her eyes off the road to read a text message or e-mail is approximately five seconds.  This more than doubles a drivers’ normal risk of a crash.

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