NY submits bill to make using a cellphone while driving primary offense

February 25th, 2010 - 3:51 am ICT by BNO News  

ALBANY, NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) – In New York , Program Bill No. 222, which would make the using a cell phone or texting while driving law more effective by raising a violation of the law from secondary offense to primary offense, was submitted to the Legislature, Governor David Paterson announced on Wednesday.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of all New Yorkers, and by increasing the offense level of the current law, law enforcement officers will be better able to protect them and save lives,” Gov. Paterson said.

Currently, a driver can’t be stopped if he is only using a cellphone while driving. A police officer can only pull over a motorist if he has also committed another traffic violation.

The Program bill would allow policemen to stop and issue a ticket to drivers who are using a portable electronic device without having to observe another traffic violation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 16 percent of fatal accidents in 2008 resulted from distracted driving. Text messaging is a major concern. Studies show that 20 percent of drivers send and/or receive text messages while behind the wheel.

“As these studies make clear, any kind of distraction while driving is dangerous, and texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions possible, which is why it is so important to crack down on this offense for the safety and well-being of everyone traveling on New York’s roads.”

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