NY Gets Creative in Busting Texting and Driving
By:   //  News Briefs, Travel

It’s hard for state troopers in any state to crack down on drivers who are texting. Their low-slung police cars are ill-designed to allow them to peer inside a car piloted by a text-mad driver with his smart phone held below window level. The state of New York had an idea, though. Recently put into service – 32 tall, unmarked SUVs perfectly positioned for troopers to glance over and down at potential texters.

New York is more particular than some when it comes to placing restrictions on the use of white-hot technology while behind the wheel. The state is among 41 that ban text messaging for all drivers and one of only 12 that disallow hand-held cellphones. And they’re not kidding around when it comes to penalties. Points counted against a perpetrator’s driving record recently increased from three to five, and a ticket can cost up to $200.

Are Empire State highway patrolman enforcing the new regulations? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” Over a two-month crackdown last summer, 5,553 tickets for texting while driving were distributed. The year before the same period netted 924. The bottom line – if you’re driving in New York, don’t trust that innocuous SUV cruising beside you. It might be Big Brother. (Derek Dowell – VNN) (Image: Flickr | Digital_Third_Eye)

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