Governor Cuomo plans to introduce legislation that would enhance penalties for drivers use cell phones while operating their motor vehicles. For texting drivers, the governor would like to see the current penalty of three points against the license increased to five points. Additionally, for drivers with junior licenses, Cuomo will attempt to pass legislation that would impose a mandatory sixty day suspension upon conviction of the violation.
As the prevalence of cell phones has increased, so too have incidents of distracted drivers endangering roadways. Of course, in seemingly more frequent instances, the consequences for distracted driving are much more severe. We recently discussed a fatal crash in which an investigation revealed that the teenage driver had been texting while driving. When distracted driving results in damage to another person or property, the offender can face serious civil, and even criminal, charges.
With increased penalties generally comes increased police diligence in enforcing those penalties. In addition to the dangers associated with their actions, drivers should bear this in mind when contemplating texting or making phone calls while operating their motor vehicles.