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Next text stop: 5 miles ahead

New York is one state that's gotten increasingly tough on texting-while-driving. Will such violations be hitting your car insurance bill next? OMG!

By MSN Smart Spending editor Sep 24, 2013 6:36PM
This post comes from partner site

MSN partner siteNew York has relabeled its rest areas and highway pull-offs as "texting zones."

Businessman using smartphone © Image Source, Image Source, Getty ImagesHey, it worked when your local airport turned a parking lot into a “Cellphone Waiting Area.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday personally unveiled the new campaign that adds nearly 300 signs along the New York State Thruway encouraging would-be texters to wait five minutes and pull over to text. The new signs include messages that read, “It can wait. Text Stop: 5 Miles.”

"Five minutes really won’t make a difference" to wait to look at a phone, Cuomo said. "It really won’t. It can wait. And if you wait until you are in a rest area or a service area, you literally may be saving someone’s life, and the life you save may be your own."

New York has stepped up its anti-texting game dramatically in the past few years.

Improved enforcement of the state’s law has increased the number of tickets for distracted driving fourfold compared with last year. (Part of that enforcement includes officers in high-riding SUVs looking for drivers gazing at their laps -- the result of another change in state law that allows police to pull over texters for that reason alone.)

Those convicted face stiffer fines, as high as $150 for the first offense, and younger drivers with probationary licenses can lose their licenses for 60 days.

And the coup de grace, delivered in July: Driver’s license points assigned to the offense rise from three to five. For comparison, that’s the same as reckless driving. A minor speeding ticket is three points.

Any driver with more than six points on New York driver’s license in an 18-month period has to pay a "driver responsibility assessment" of at least $100 a year for the next three years.

While there is no certainty that your car insurance company will take the texting violation as seriously as the state does, it very well could -- and it’s likely the increase in your New York car insurance rates would be even greater than $100 a year.

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Sep 25, 2013 5:20PM

Duh.  Pretty dumb if you need signs to tell you you can text at the next rest stop.  People who can't figure that out shouldn't be driving while taxpayers get the bill for special accommodations for stupid people. 

Sep 25, 2013 3:28PM
Good for them. Texting while driving is dangerous.
It ranks right up there with drunk driving, or voting for obama.

Sep 25, 2013 3:43PM
Good idea.  Nearly everyday, I have to avoid idiots attempting to drive while texting, talking on their phones or putting on makeup.   Sorry, but 99.9 percent of you are just not that talented.
Sep 25, 2013 5:22PM
I can't imagine what is so important that you have to stop and text while in traffic---EVER!  If you're expected somewhere and you're running late, send a text before leaving.  Need to change a meeting place?  Send a text BEFORE leaving!!  There is nothing so important that it demands your time and attention away from the wheel that you NEED to text from your car---period.
Sep 25, 2013 6:02PM

There is a dealership near where I live that has a device installed on all their vehicles that will not allow the driver to use a cell phone in the drivers seat. Israel has a great law. If you are caught talking or texting on a phone it is a $1000 fine. If you are caught 3 times. It is $1000 each time and on the 3rd offense your license is suspended for 6 months. To get your license back you have to go through a driving course that costs $2500 and only then do you get your license back.

You have to make stupidity painful.

Sep 25, 2013 3:16PM
Let me pull over, then I will respond. 
Sep 25, 2013 7:29PM
 Why waste tax payers money on this. Aren't those who text intelligent to know to pull off when they come upon a rest stop?     If they are that stupid they shouldn't even be driving and it is obvious then that they have nothing important to communicate via texting.
Sep 25, 2013 4:17PM
If people wont correct the problem of texting while driving it need not be left up to the people. Action must be taken beyond their control or ability to invervene. There is software in prodution right now which can solve this issue once and for all. Employ it.
Sep 25, 2013 3:55PM
According to the poll, there is 9-10% of responders who should not have a license to drive.
Sep 25, 2013 6:43PM
It's not going to stop one person from texting and driving. it's a feel good bill that is just a joke
Sep 26, 2013 3:40AM

Wanna save even more lives and accidents? Require passing an IQ test (in English) to get a driver's license.

Sep 25, 2013 7:22PM
Morons.....half the people out there shouldn't have driver's licenses to begin with.....wish they would take their phones and shove em!
Sep 25, 2013 3:30PM
wow, just another waste of taxes.. and the fines are just another tax.  way to go new york. what a crappy place. I had to work in ny for years and never found a place I liked.  as for texting and driving, it can be a law as soon as the cops stop using their computer while they drive. after  all fair is fair and the law should apply evenly..
Sep 25, 2013 8:36PM

"Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday personally unveiled the new campaign that adds nearly 300 signs along the New York State Thruway"


OK so how much did the signs and the hundreds of hours of paying state workers to take their time installing them cost the tax payers ?


No Wonder NY is such a $hithole !..Libtards running the place


If your dumb enough to text and drive you should not have a license !

Sep 25, 2013 6:37PM

I was born and raised in NYS and I love this state but, this is a complete waste of taxpayers $ and in no way will minimize texting while driving IMO.  The reason people text while driving is to save time so, why would somebody pull over at a rest stop to send a 2.5 second text, get back on the road, receive a reply 10 seconds later while merging back into traffic,...... get my point?


Sep 25, 2013 4:59PM
This is asinine. Ticketing texters is fine. Spending all MY tax dollars to change the signs is not. What is a baseless and intentional money-grab is the ban on handheld cell phones. My phone dials by voice. So why can't I use it? I can adjust the radio, talk to my wife in the car, or sing in the car, but not talk to my wife on the phone. It's a money-grab, pure and simple.
Sep 25, 2013 3:38PM
Goog idea.... and, .. WAIT... I almost run into a stop sighn....OK... WHAT WAS I SAYING..
Sep 25, 2013 7:18PM
   This is a good idea since so many people can't  live without communicating with someone for five minutes  .How  did we ever live before Cell Phones and texting?     Once I was in the super market and a woman was on her cell phone.. She continued to be preoccupied with the phone .. I moved from aisle to aisle to escape her and wouldn't you know it she showed up each time.    I know this article is about Texting but I find it very annoying and interrupts others.. As for driving and Texting .. can't one wait for 30 miles or so until the next rest stop?    If you can't do that maybe you should just stay home.  This technology and cell phones puts others at risk as well as you.. Like a drunk drive do you want to be responsible for an accident? perhaps someone's death ???      I wish police in my town would be more consciencious in ticketing cell phone users and Texters   while driving.. they might bring in enough revenue to give themselves a nice raise not      to mention  making  the roads safer for NON Texters to drive on.
Sep 25, 2013 3:15PM
Whoo hoo! Way to go New York! Finally there is a state that realizes that distracted/inattentive driving is far worse than speeding, and that police should be able to pull over and ticket inattentive drivers for that reason alone. Keep up the good work NY! Also, thank you to the NY State Police for being cool and not ticketing me for going 77 on a desolate stretch of 65 MPH interstate highway.
Sep 25, 2013 7:45PM
people who text and drive should be shot before another person dies from their stupidity.
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