A push is on to make Nassau County the focal point of eliminating distracted driving nationwide.
The county’s District Attorney, Kathleen Rice, very much wants to make Nassau County the home to new pilot programs the state develops to prevent distracted driving. This would include targeted enforcement efforts, too, that aim to rid the road of people who persistently text on their cellphones while driving.
DA Rice noted in a letter written to the governor that if New York continues to aggressively crack down on distracted drivers, she would like Nassau County to be the location where those programs or enforcement efforts debut.
In the past year, New York has taken the lead in enforcing texting-while-driving penalties for drivers. The state has clearly recognized the budding dangers posed by drivers who text behind the wheel. Texting-while-driving has been recognized as a real danger to drivers, passengers, other motorists, and pedestrians. New York officials say that thousands of serious injuries happen every year because of a driver texting behind the wheel.
To combat distracted driving, New York has imposed the strictest penalties in the U.S. New drivers are subject to license suspensions and all drivers can incur heavy fines if they’re caught texting-while-driving in New York, where the offense is considered primary. This gives police the ability to pull over drivers if they catch them texting while they’re driving, based on our previous reports.
Programs Aimed To Educate Drivers
The state has also initiated some educational programs that attempt to replicate the dangers of texting-while-driving for younger and soon-to-be drivers. Recently, New York has deployed State Troopers in special SUVs that can view into passing cars to see if motorists are using their cellphones and the state has also created special texting zones at rest stops along highways to give drivers a chance to safely send their messages.
In addition to those enforcement efforts, DA Rice is also proposing that drivers be subject to penalties if they’re caught texting while stopped at traffic signals as well as some other legal details that relate to texting-while-driving and its cause of auto accidents, according to a statement from the DA this week.