New York State Assembly Votes To Curb Distracted Drivers

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Building on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent move to increase penalties for texting while driving, State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. has announced increased penalties on young and new drivers who use their cellphones in the car.

For those with junior permits or licenses, changes include a 60-day license suspension for the first offense and a 60-day revocation for the second offense if it occurs within six months of getting the license back. For those with probationary licenses, changes include a 60-day license suspension for the first offense and a six-month license revocation for the second offense if the offense is within six months of getting the license back.

“This legislation sends a strong message to our youth: text messaging can and must wait,” said Mr. Thiele in a press release. “By making the penalties tougher on young drivers just getting behind the wheel, hopefully, it will instill in them from the outset that texting while driving will not be tolerated.”

According research by the Pediatric Academic Societies, 43 percent of teenage drivers admit that they regularly text while driving.

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