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State laws | Transportation

New York state introduces highway ‘texting zones’

October 2, 2013

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Albany, NY – As part of ongoing efforts to combat distracted driving, New York state has established “texting zones” on major highways for motorists to park and use their cell phone.

During a Sept. 23 press conference, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) announced that the zones are made up of more than 90 existing rest stops, parking areas and park-and-ride facilities along the New York State Thruway and select other highways. Nearly 300 new signs will show motorists the number of miles to the next texting zone.

Also during the press conference, Joseph A. D’Amico, superintendent of the New York State Police, discussed the results of a distracted driving crackdown conducted between July 4 and Labor Day weekend. Law enforcement issued 21,580 tickets for texting or talking on a handheld cell phone – more than 4 times the amount issued last summer during the same time period, according to Cuomo’s office. Both texting and talking on a handheld cell phone while driving are banned in New York state.