If you’re in New York, hang up and drive!
Because effective tomorrow, February 16, New York motorists caught talking on their cell phones without a headset will earn two points on their driving records, and that means higher insurance costs.
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles announced the change earlier this week. Until now, no points were assigned for talking on a cell phone, though two points were assigned for texting while driving. Under the new regulations, the point penalty will be assigned for either violation.
DMV executive deputy commissioner J. David Sampson explained, “Distracted driving is one of the most serious dangers on our roadways today. By strengthening the current law, our hope is that motorists will become even more aware of the potential consequences of their actions if they use a cell phone while driving.”
A decade ago, New York became the first state in the country to adopt a ban on handheld cell phone use behind the wheel. in 2009, a law banning texting while driving also took effect, a violation that currently comes with a $150 fine in addition to the two points assigned to your driving record.
Officials in New York blame driver distraction for at least one in every five crashes. Across the state, 300,000 tickets are issued for cell phone violations every year.