New York getting tougher about reckless driving

Surveys have shown that most drivers agree that talking and texting while driving is a dangerous activity. New York agrees with them and they have recently enacted stronger laws to crack down on all reckless driving offenses. In order to be able to catch more drivers that may be breaking the laws, the governor has decided to bring back the use of unmarked police cars. The cars had been declared unlawful in 1996 because of the possible risk of people trying to pull over unsuspecting drivers while pretending to drive an unmarked trooper car.

Research as supposedly shown that a driver that is texting, reading email, or even trying to talk while holding a phone is almost as likely to have an accident as a person who is legally considered intoxicated. Police have stated that they have pulled over people who appeared to be driving erratically, and the officer assumed that the driver was drunk. However, in many cases, the person was actually trying to use their cell phone while allegedly committing various traffic violations, such as improper lane changes, speeding and weaving in and out of lanes.

In the past year, New York police have ticketed over 30,000 drivers for cell phone use alone. Distracted driver incidents have been reported to have shown a huge increase in recent years. Not only has the state come down harder on the traffic violation, but the fines and points assessed have also increased in stated attempt to keep fellow travelers safer.

While other states have also decided to get tougher on cell phone use and texting while driving, New York has seemed to lead the way in actively pursuing and ticketing drivers when they are caught. However, there is help for drivers that have been targeted for traffic violations such as allegations of reckless driving. There are resources that can offer help and information to drivers that may be useful to them when they seek to challenge the validity of the charges. Having a high fine or points on a license could possibly affect a person's ability to perform their job, thus requiring that the charges be confronted with careful attention to detail and with due regard to an individual's considerable legal rights under our laws.

Source: Huffington Post, "New York State Troopers Battle Texting While Driving, Cell Phone Use On The Roads," Kevin Short, July 23, 2013

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