In June of 2013 the New York State Assembly and Senate passed new legislation
that increases the number of points a motorist will have added to his
or her DMV record when convicted of texting while driving.
Governor Cuomo subsequently signed the legislation into law.
Experienced Newburgh car accident attorneys know that accidents related to cell phone use have increased by around
143% since 2005. Police agencies aware of the trend have increased their
efforts at reducing such accidents by issuing more tickets. From 2011
to 2013, the number of tickets received by motorists for texting while
driving increased by 234%. Moreover, experienced attorneys know that distracted
driving due to cell phone usage affects liability and may give an injured
motorist a right to commenced civil litigation based on negligence. This
is especially so when the negligent act also violated a statute.
The new laws,
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1225-c and
1225-d were amendments of previous laws that made it illegal to operate a motor
vehicle while making a cellular phone call, and also when texting or sending
e-mails while driving. The new laws increase the points violation from
3 to 5 points for convictions under the statutes.
Young drivers also face stiffer penalties more so than older drivers. Any
first conviction for probationary drivers will carry a 60 day suspension
of driving privileges. Any subsequent conviction for the same offence
within 6 months of the restoration of driving privileges will lead to
a 6 month license revocation. Junior drivers face the same first conviction
60 day suspension, but the maximum revocation period will only be 60 days
instead of 6 months.
All other drivers will only face a 5 point addition to their DMV record.
This may seem like a stark difference as compared to older drivers, but
remember that the DMV charges additional fees once a motorist reaches
the 6 point mark, and eventually when a certain amount of points are reached,
a license may be suspended. Of course don’t forget about additional
insurance costs, particularly if a
car accident is the result of distracted driving.
With 43% of teen drivers admitting that they text while driving, the probability
of being injured by a distracted driver will not go down in the near future.
Statutes attempting to curb such behavior by making penalties stiffer
do not work in a vacuum. Other ramifications are also needed.
Holding violators civilly liable for their actions is another deterrent.
All motorists must use reasonable and prudent care while driving so as
to not harm others. Allowing oneself to become distracted while driving
breaches the duty of care owed to other motorists. When the duty is not
followed and the breach causes injury, then the offending driver can be
liable for the victim’s damages.
Are you interested in learning more about car accidents caused by impaired
drivers? Find out more in our
latest article to learn more about your rights here.
Our car accident attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie,
and Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.