In New York State improper cell phone use and texting while driving now carries five DMV points. This is an increase of two points, and applies to violations occurring on or after June 1, 2013.
Figures released by the National Safety Council shows that in 2011, over 3,300 people were killed, and crash risk increased 23 times due to distraction while driving. Distracted driving occurs when drivers use portable electronic devices such as cell phones to talk, text or send e-mail messages. If you were to sit at a traffic light for a short period you could count an alarming number of motorists who intentionally violate the cell phone/texting law.
What does this mean to you? The New York State Motor Vehicle point assessment chart shows that improper cell phone use and texting while driving carries the same five points as reckless driving, and passing a stopped school bus. In comparison, speeding 21-30 miles over the posted limit is six points. These are all classified as serious driving offenses by the DMV. The emphasis on a point assessment increase could be interpreted as a reassessment of the seriousness of these violations. You will definitely receive special attention from insurance carriers, who may use a motorist’s driving record to establish their premiums.