State Sen. Patty Ritchie (R,C-Heuvelton) joined Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he visited Northern New York to sign a new, tougher law to stop texting while driving.
The new law, which passed the Legislature unanimously and takes effect immediately, includes fines up to $150 and up to three violation points. The Governor signed the bill during a stop in Watertown Thursday.
Urges Albany to Find Alternatives to Phone Plan That’s “Ill-Timed” and Unneeded
State Senator Patty Ritchie is urging state regulators to put the brakes on its latest effort to create a new telephone area code for Central and Northern New York, calling current proposals to split the region in two, or create a confusing “overlay” code, “ill-timed” and possibly unnecessary.
The state Public Service Commission is considering plans that would divide the 18-county region into two zones, and impose a new area code on one of them, or “overlay” the new area code across the entire region, and apply it for new numbers only. The latter plan would require residents to dial 10 or 11 digits to complete any calls—local or long distance.
“Considering the state of the region’s economy, local businesses—still recovering from recession—simply cannot afford the additional cost and potential customer loss from this change, and tens of thousands of consumers, who will be forced to dial 10 or 11 digits to reach a nearby town or even their next-door neighbor, should not face this additional inconvenience,” Senator Ritchie said, in a letter she sent to the PSC.
Action came in response to request from Senator Ritchie to let area
residents and businesses weigh in on plan
Senator Patty Ritchie announced that the state Public Service Commission has agreed to her request for hearings on its plan to create a new area code for Northern and Central New York communities now served by the 315 area code.
The hearings--including two that will be held in Watertown on August 6th--are being hosted in response to a recent letter Senator Ritchie sent to state regulators, urging them to put the brakes on proposals to split the region in two, or create a confusing “overlay” code. In her letter, Senator Ritchie also requested the PSC hold a new round of public hearings, as the PSC last held hearings on the 315 area code issue in 2008. A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
State Senator Patty Ritchie is applauding the New York State Public Service Commission’s decision to put on hold its plans to make changes to the 315 area code.
Since the PSC’s area code change proposal was announced, Senator Ritchie urged state regulators to put the brakes on its effort to follow through with proposed changes to the 315 area code, which included a plan to split the region in two, or create a confusing “overlay” code (click here to read a copy of Senator Ritchie's letter to the PSC). In response, the PSC hosted hearings across the region served by the 315 area code. Hearings on the issue were last held in 2008.
“Since the proposed changes to the 315 area code were announced, I have heard from hundreds of individuals concerned about how they would be impacted,” said Senator Ritchie.
State Senator Patty Ritchie is calling out to residents of Central and Northern New York to be heard on the latest effort by state regulators to create a new area code for parts of the region now covered by 315. Senator Ritchie has created an online survey and comment form on her website to measure her constituents’ support for various plans that have been floated by the state Public Service Commission, which says the region could run out of available phone numbers in 2017.