Cuomo: Four Times As Many Tickets Issued for Texting-While-Driving Since New Law Took Effect

July 12, 2012 Updated Jul 12, 2012 at 4:40 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Cuomo: Four Times As Many Tickets Issued for Texting-While-Driving Since New Law Took Effect

July 12, 2012 Updated Jul 12, 2012 at 4:40 PM EDT

(WKBW release) New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday 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.

According to a news release:

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