Now it is 2 points for Driving While on the Phone

Carl L Marcellino

February 16, 2011

Everyone knows that driving with a handheld cell phone is illegal in New York. What you may not know is starting today, Wednesday, February 16th drivers who are ticketed for driving while talking on their handheld cell phones will face 2 points on their license, in addition to the $100 fine.

Beyond the dangers of talking on a handheld cell phone, text messaging while driving presents a clear danger to the driver and others on the road. Many lives have been claimed in crashes involving text messaging while driving and in New York State doing so carries a 2-point penalty and a $150 fine.

Studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving, delays a driver's reaction as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent, equivalent to driving drunk. Nationwide nearly 500,000 people are injured and 6,000 are killed each year because drivers are talking, texting and e-mailing behind the wheel. In New York State alone, at least one in five crashes has distracted driving listed as a contributing factor.

Cellular phones are a convenient way to keep in touch with family, friends and business commitments while away from home or office.   However, for your safety and for the safety of others, you should always keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.