Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Distracted driving focus of DA’s new plan

Many things can cause drivers in New York to be hit with points on their driving records as well as the requirement of paying high fines. Speeding has certainly taken center stage not just in New York City but statewide with the installment of more speed cameras at intersections near schools. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol continues to result in serious consequences for convicted drivers. These are just some of the traffic violations that are receiving serious attention from law enforcement as well as lawmakers these days.

Distracted driving is the focus of a new effort spearheaded by the District Attorney in Nassau County. Recently the county instituted stricter penalties for teenagers caught texting while driving including two-month license suspensions for first offenses. Now adults are the focus of the county’s vigilance with a multi-prong approach to stopping handheld use of phones while behind the wheel. Instead of insurance surcharges, the DA and congressional candidate will offer insurance discounts to drivers who utilize special technology that prevents texting while driving.

The same technology could be required for any drivers convicted of distracted driving offenses. Additionally, cell phone companies are urged to incorporate these functions into phones rather than relying upon third-party applications. Drivers convicted of distracted driving can have a total of five points added to their driving records, making the penalties potentially serious for some people.

When faced with a traffic ticket that may include a distracted driving charge, drivers may not be sure how to proceed. Contacting an attorney can sometimes offer help and the ability to prevent unnecessary convictions.

Source: CBS New York, “Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice Announces Plan To Combat Texting While Driving,” September 8, 2014

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