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Law enforcement is about to crack down on distracted driving

On Wednesday, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee announced that both state and local law enforcement agencies will be taking part in a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the perils of distracted driving. Coinciding with Distracted Driving Awareness Month, law enforcement across the state will increase patrols from April 3rd to April 10th.

New York Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner and GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder emphasized the importance of focusing on the road while driving to ensure the safety of passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. He added that New York was the first state to ban cell phone use while driving and that the ongoing campaign seeks to remind drivers that distracted driving is entirely preventable.

Throughout April, the GTSC will be promoting a public service campaign to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. This campaign will be featured on social media, television, radio, and highway Variable Message Signs.

In the 2022 campaign, law enforcement agencies across the state issued a total of 65,066 tickets for vehicle and traffic law violations, including 2,860 for distracted driving. To discourage drivers from using cell phones without hands-free devices, texting, or using electronic devices while driving, the state has implemented strict penalties. These penalties can range from fines of $50 to $450, five driver violation points, and possible suspension or revocation of a driver’s license.