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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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60-license suspensions for texting junior drivers in New York

Between 2005 and 2011, the state of New York reported a doubling of the number of car accidents where cellphone use was involved. In 2011 alone, there were reportedly more than 25,000 car accidents caused by distracted drivers that resulted in injury or death. In order to combat these staggering numbers and increase the safety of New York’s roadways, New York lawmakers have created and enacted laws with harsher consequences for distracted drivers.

A standard license driver gets five points on their license if they are caught using a phone while driving, meaning it can take up to three offenses before they are subject to a driver’s license suspension. A driver has their license suspended if they get 11 points on their license within an 18-month period.

Teen drivers especially can be some of the worst violators of these laws. In an effort to teach junior drivers the magnitude of driving and using a cellphone, a law was recently enacted creating much stricter penalties than those placed on motorists with general licenses. Under the new law, on the first offense, a driver with a junior or probationary license or a learner’s permit who is caught talking or texting while driving, their license will be suspended for 60 days. For probationary drivers who are caught a second time, their license then gets a six-month suspended license.

Whether you are a junior driver, or you have been driving for years, if you have had your driver’s license suspended, it may be helpful to consult with a lawyer. An experienced attorney can help you to understand your options, as well as the process for having your license reinstated when the time comes. Legal counsel can also address your concerns and answer any questions as they come up.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “NY increases texting penalty for junior drivers”, July 1, 2013

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