Texting and driving is a dangerous combination, leading to too many serious injury accidents or fatalities. Between 2005 and 2011, New York state saw a 143% increase in auto accidents involving cell phone use. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association statistics tell of 3,331 New York state deaths from accidents due to a distracted driver. Preventing personal injury should be at the forefront of every driver’s focus as the consequences can be severe and life lasting.
The state of New York is taking the matter of cell phone usage and driving to heart with a renewed focus on drivers caught using phones illegally while behind the wheel. The program involves harsher fines for those found guilty as well as new methods to make it easier for state troopers to identify violators. In 2012 alone, 30,166 citations were issued throughout the state for texting while driving. That figure is 234% higher than the previous year.
Last year, Gov. Cuomo repealed a prior ban on unmarked police cars to allow for a new fleet of Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement vehicles to be put into service on state highways and roadways. These SUVs are unmarked and sit higher than most, allowing easier viewing into other vehicles. Better visibility into cars by state troopers allows them to issue more citations, with the ultimate goal of reducing motor vehicle accidents.
The state’s crackdown on cell phone use while driving can be a reminder to all motorists to keep safety as a priority. Car accidents can happen in a moment and result in serious personal injury or even wrongful death. If you have been injured in an accident involving cell phone use, it may be wise to speak to an attorney to learn your rights.
Source: Huffington Post, “New York state troopers battle texting while driving, cell phone use on the roads” Kevin Short, July 23, 2013