You're stuck at a red light, several cars back when you realize you forgot to remind your significant other about your dinner reservations. No problem, just whip out your cell and shoot him or her a quick text. It's no big deal, lots of people do it.
It's important to realize that a conviction for DUI/DWI here in New York can have dramatic consequences that extend beyond the criminal law realm. For instance, convicted drunk drivers face suspended licenses, ignition interlock devices and even increased insurance premiums. In fact, the lobbyist wife of a 10-term congressman learned this the hard way just last week.
A little over a year ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed one of the state's most stringent vehicle traffic laws into effect. Specifically, back on July 12, 2011, he signed a bill designed to crack down on distracted driving by effectively banning motorists from using their cell phones or other handheld devices while behind the wheel.
At this very moment, people here in the state of New York and across the country are busy navigating crowded highways and interstates in an attempt to make their way to a favorite vacation destination for the July 4th holiday.
Over the past year, the Department of Transportation has been making a concerted effort to crack down on certain dangerous and illegal driving practices by New Yorkers, including texting while driving, drunk driving and even driving with tinted windows. To date, these enforcement efforts have been successful, very likely contributing to the record low in traffic fatalities reached in 2011. However, some safety advocates are now arguing that these stepped up enforcement efforts have somehow managed to overlook a major cause of many serious and fatal accidents -- speeding.
It appears that law enforcement officials throughout the state of New York have been going to great lengths to enforce one of the state's newer -- and decidedly more stringent -- vehicle traffic laws over the past six months.
Last week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city had officially reached a rather impressive milestone concerning the number of annual traffic deaths. Specifically, Mayor Bloomberg indicated that the number of traffic fatalities in 2011 declined to the lowest level in 100 years, and that increased enforcement of vehicle traffic laws, re-engineering of city streets and public awareness campaigns were the most likely reason.
Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, law enforcement officials throughout the state of New York took part in an extensive campaign designed to enforce some of the more stringent vehicle traffic laws.
Over the next few days, drivers all over the state of New York will be hitting the roads and highways for Thanksgiving travel. However, before heading out and driving back, motorists should know that law enforcement officials will be conducting a statewide campaign designed to enforce some of the more stringent vehicle traffic laws.
One of New York's better-known - and perhaps infamous - vehicle traffic laws is the prohibition against texting while driving. Originally passed in November 2009, the law (which has since been amended) makes texting while driving a primary offense. This means that any law enforcement official in the state of New York can currently stop and ticket a motorist solely for texting while driving.