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New texting while driving law in New York enacted last weekend

The state of New York recently enacted a law last weekend that is aimed at targeting drivers who text behind the wheel. The new law is meant to deter people from establishing a dangerous and reckless habit early in their driving lives, and to punish any driver who should no better -- in other words, drivers who are not considered "new" or "young."

The rule will punish new or young drivers who are caught texting while driving with a 120-day license suspension, and that's just for a first offense. Any offense after that which occurs within six months of the license being renewed will lead to a year-long suspension of the license. The rule also punishes drivers for using a hand-held phone twice in an 18-month stretch will be subject to a $250 fine.

Clearly, this rule targets younger and newer drivers, but that's the whole point: eliminate a potentially bad habit before it even has a chance to exist. Some people will inevitably fall through the cracks, but the message this rule sends is simple. Don't text and drive. If you do, you will be harshly penalized.

When you consider the threat texting while driving poses to younger drivers -- recent statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in a fatal accident was distracted while driving -- it's an understandable rule. We'll just have to see what kind of impact it has in the coming years.

Source: silive.com, "Are the new texting while driving laws too strict or not strict enough?," Tracy Porpora, Nov. 1, 2014

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