Starting June 1st, penalties for texting while driving increased from three points on a violator’s license to five points. A driver can get their license suspended if they receive 11 points during an 18-month period.
The new penalties come from the direction of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo—and it’s not the only thing he is doing to crack down on distracted drivers. The governor is also proposing legislation that would bring on tougher, new penalties for young and new drivers convicted of texting-while-driving. This legislation would have violators' licenses suspended for 60 days after their first conviction for texting while driving.
AAA fully supports both the new penalties and the proposed legislation. John A. Corlett, Legislative Committee Chairman for AAA New York State, said, “Texting-while-driving is one of the riskiest behaviors any driver can undertake and poses a danger to everyone on our roads. AAA also strongly supports the Governor’s plan to impose new penalties for texting-while-driving on new and younger drivers. There’s no reason that our least experienced drivers – teens with whom we are working to keep safe through graduated driver licensing and driver education, should be doing anything other than focusing on driving. In fact, traffic crashes remain the leading cause of death and injury for teens and surveys indicate texting is even more prevalent among young novice drivers. What that tells us is that even tougher penalties need to be put in place to affect behavior change.”
New York State Police will be increasing their enforcement on texting-while-driving throughout the summer.