Texting and Driving? New York is Cracking Down

Governor Cuomo says State Police have seen a 365% increase in tickets issued in summer 2013 compared to summer 2012 for distracted driving, a result of an extensive enforcement crackdown by the State Police. This summer, State Police issued 21,580 tickets, surpassing last summer’s total of 5,208 tickets. Cuomo was speaking at a Thruway rest area announcing changes to the distracted driving laws in New YorkState, Now it’s a primary offense and drivers can be ticketed specifically for distracted driving


“New York State is continuing to use every tool at its disposal to combat texting-while-driving,” Governor Cuomo said. “In addition to tougher penalties, new detection methods for State Police and ongoing public outreach efforts, we are now launching special Texting Zones to allow motorists to pull over and use their phones. These Zones will be identified with signs along the Thruway and State Highways, reminding drivers that there is a nearby opportunity for them to legally and safely use their phone. With this new effort, we are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next Texting Zone.”


State Police have been using Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles as part of the operation in order to more easily identify motorists who are texting while driving. CITE vehicles are SUVs that have platforms higher than an average vehicle, allowing officers greater ability to see into other vehicles and detect individuals in the process of sending text messages. The State Police fleet of CITE vehicles are unmarked and come in a variety of colors to ensure that they blend in with traffic on the road. They are also equipped with hidden high intensity emergency lights. You may have seen the flashing lights on Ray Brook’s CITE Vehicle.. It’s been in and around the region actively following up on the Governor’s initiative to crack down on Distracted Driving.. The Solution… Pull over, or Wait until you get to your destination to communicate on your phone..

Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico said, “Our top priority is keeping motorists and pedestrians safe on New York’s roadways and the new distracted driving law has helped us to do our job better. We told motorists we would be out there looking for violators and we found far too many. The accidents that result from the use of hand held devices are completely avoidable which is why we will continue to target distracted drivers who engage in this dangerous activity.”