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New York State Cracks Down on Distracted Driving, Imposing Stiffer Penalties and Suspensions for New Drivers, Notes Parker Waichman LLP

New York, New York (PRWEB) July 29, 2013

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm dedicated to protecting the legal rights of car accident victims, notes that a law was recently passed to implement new penalties for those caught distracted driving – which refers to motorists caught talking or sending texts or emails on a handheld phone. The new law imposes the same penalties on drivers with probationary and junior licenses for distracted driving that they would receive for speeding and reckless driving: 60-day suspensions for first convictions, and revocations of 60 days (for junior licenses) or six months (for probationary licenses) for subsequent convictions within six months of the time a license is restored after suspension.

The law, as noted in the July 1 announcement, follows other steps New York state has taken to enhance the safety of its roads. The state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) implemented tougher penalties for all drivers who text or otherwise use a cellphone while driving. On June 1, 2013, the DMV increased the number of points earned against an individual’s driving record upon conviction for texting-while-driving and cellphone-related infractions from 3 points to 5 points.

To further bolster this effort, the New York State Police conducted a $1 million summer crackdown on distracted driving on Long Island, as noted in a July 15 announcement. The effort began on the July 4th holiday weekend statewide and consisted of increased enforcement and patrols, as well as undercover operations. As a result of enhanced enforcement, the State Police issued 486 tickets for distracted driving that weekend alone.

According to that same announcement, one in five crashes in New York state is a result of distracted driving. Last year more than 30,000 tickets were issued in New York state for texting-while-driving – a 234% increase over 2011. By comparison, there were fewer than 44,000 DWI/DWAI arrests in New York state in 2012, a 4% decrease over 2011.

“Considering the huge leap in popularity of texting and using cellphones while driving, it is high time that New York, as well as other states, looked at their laws with an eye to revising them to offset the potential impact of distracted driving,” said Parker Waichman. The firm has on-staff nurse consultants who talk to people who suffer the full spectrum of injuries caused by car accidents resulting from assorted distractions.

Distracted driving is far from being a New York-only problem., a website operated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), offers nationwide statistics on the dangers of distracted driving. Among the facts and statistics noted on the website:

  •     In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010.
  •     10% of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
  •     11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  •     For drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 21 percent of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cell phones.
  •     At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.

Parker Waichman offers free legal evaluations to the victims of car accidents in Long Island, New York, New Jersey, Florida and nationwide. If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle crash, please visit our site at Free lawsuit evaluations are also available by calling 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

Parker Waichman LLP
Gary Falkowitz
Managing Attorney
(800) LAW-INFO
(800) 529-4636

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Source: PRWeb
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