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Starting in June 2013, New York State Increases Penalties for Texting-While-Driving

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Penalties for Texting-While-Driving

In its largest declaration against driving while distracted, the NY State legislature under the leadership of Governor Cuomo has amended the penalties for texting while driving a 5 point violation. Prior to the amendment, violations under VTL 1225 were a 3 point violation.

A conviction under the new law would be a big blow to probationary drivers and junior license holders. A conviction to this new law will result in a minimum 60 day suspension.

License Holders

Current Law

 

Cell Phone and Texting Convictions

New Law

 

Cell Phone and Texting Convictions

 

Suspension

Revocation

Points

Suspension

Revocation

Points

Probationary

No

No

3

60 days for first conviction

6 months for subsequent conviction within 6 months of license restoration

5

Junior

No

No

3

60 days for first conviction

60 days for subsequent conviction within 6 months of license restoration

5

All others

No

No

3

No

No

5

Studies have shown that largest demographic which uses their cellular devices while driving are young adults.

A conviction under the new cell phone amendments would be more punitive than a speeding conviction to driving 20 mph over the speed limit. Such a conviction would only be a 4 point violation.

While commenting on the amended law, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, "I spend a lot of time in the car, driving ... it's amazing how chronic and prevalent the activity is.”

A part of the impetus of the legislation was couched under the guise of public safety. “As the father of three teenagers, I know firsthand the importance of instilling safe practices in our young drivers who are developing lifelong habits as they learn to navigate the road,” Governor Cuomo said. “Inattention and inexperience is a deadly combination – one this legislation seeks to deter. We are urging young and inexperienced drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, while putting stronger penalties in place for drivers of all ages who violate the law and put others in danger. No parent should have to experience losing a child at the hands of a text message.”

The State Police has promised to increase checkpoints throughout the summer to educate drivers and keep the roads safer.

New York State Police by Joseph A. D'Amico said, “Distracted drivers will not be tolerated in New York State. Drivers who text or talk on mobile devices while behind the wheel not only take their attention from the road, but also put lives at risk. Our message is clear - motorists who use a cell phone or electronic device while driving will be ticketed.”

Even if a person takes a defensive driving course after a conviction to the new cell phone violation, they will still have 1 point assessed against their license. A NYS defensive driving course will only relieve a driver of 4 points against their license.

About Our Firm:  At Villanueva & Sanchala, PLLC we excel at getting New York traffic tickets dismissed or reduced.  We have over 25 years of legal experience and have gained a reputation among our peers as being superb lawyers.  Our team of traffic and criminal defense lawyers is lead by Joseph P. Villanueva.  He is a former prosecutor.  Having a former prosecutor on your side can help in analyzing critical issues in your case.  This can make the difference in you keep your license or having your license suspended or revoked. Call us now 914-723-7900

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