On behalf of Jeff Antin of Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP, Attorneys at Law posted in Accidents on Friday, September 7, 2012.
Most states, including New York, have laws requiring a hands-free device be used while talking on the phone while driving. Following the hands-free laws, many states, for good reason, have adopted laws that also ban texting while driving (citing studies showing that texting while driving is the equivalent of driving while under some kind of impairment). The use of electronics by drivers have led to many motor vehicle accidents and the State of New York now wants to go a step further to prevent them with the new law.
Currently, one can only be fined up to $150 if caught texting. However, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to increase the fine and impose a 3 point violation for any offense which includes the use of any electronic device, including cell phones, noting that the current law isn’t working and that “distracted driving is nothing less than a lethal activity for the driver themselves, other drivers on the road, and pedestrians.”
In addition, Governor Cuomo wants to make the use a phone or electronic device while driving a “primary offenses” meaning that a police officer would be able stop a driver for using an electronic device. Currently, New York police must stop drivers for another reason (like speeding) and then they can ticket the driver for using an electronic device.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by a driver who was distracted by an electronic device, then you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.