New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that unmarked state police officers will drive around looking for distracted drivers as part of heightened enforcement efforts to curb this dangerous behavior.
According to a CBS New York report, Cuomo announced that 30 unmarked SUVs will be on state parkways this summer looking for people texting or using their smartphones while behind the wheel.
New York Penalizes Distracted Drivers
In a recent report, we also noted that New York was imposing stiffer penalties on drivers caught texting while driving, often known as distracted driving. Those penalties include 60-day suspensions for newly licensed drivers caught texting while driving, and 5-point license penalties for experienced drivers caught in the act.
Cuomo announced the stepped-up enforcement plan to place unmarked police officers on roadways at an event on Long Island that used a crash course to teach drivers the dangers of distracted driving, CBS reports.
Long Island’s roadways are among the worst the in the tri-county area, according to recent reports, and the added danger of distracted driving on the roadways only serves to raise the risk of more accidents happening. Our recent accounts show that distracted driving – such as texting or otherwise using a phone while driving – already has led to an increased rate of traffic and automobile accidents that involve serious injuries or death.
Phone Use Has Not Decreased
Though recent heightened enforcement efforts have aimed to curb the behavior we’ve noted, it seems that many drivers are ignoring the warnings and continue to use phones while behind the wheel.
Cuomo’s event this week in Suffolk County was targeted toward younger drivers as police there provided teen drivers, mostly, with the opportunity to attempt to navigate a crash course. According to information provided by CBS in its report, AAA data shows that at least 3,000 teens die per year behind the wheel of an automobile while they’re texting or using their smartphones.