Drivers in Poughkeepsie and greater New York may bemoan the seemingly ubiquitous
presence of cell phones. The convenience and broad array of functions
offered by smartphones make them irresistible to many consumers. In fact,
many users may have difficulty putting them down, even when they get behind
the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Yet New York lawmakers are aware of the dangers posed by drivers who text
or use their cellphones while driving. The practice is no longer permitted
under state law, and offenders who are caught may find themselves slapped
with a driving citation.
The penalties for texting while driving may include fines and license points.
A first offense could result in a maximum fine of $150, but that amount
can increase to $500 for a third offense. Driving points and fines are
no laughing matter, so anyone facing this type of traffic citation might
want to explore all of their options with a criminal defense attorney
Another change will go into effect in November 2014. The penalty applies
to young drivers, such as those with a learner’s permit or a junior
license. If caught texting while driving, such young offenders could have
their driving privileges suspended for four months on the first offense,
and as long as a year on the second offense.
Notably, Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced an enforcement push called
Operation Hang Up. The effort involved extra patrols on local highways
and streets. State troopers patrolled for offenders in marked as well
as unmarked patrol cars. Some troopers were even assigned sport utility
vehicles so that they could see into other cars.
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal, “Police to begin cellphone crackdown today,” Jon Campbell, April 10, 2014