New York Introduces “Texting Zones” Along Highways
Earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a new initiative in New York to prevent distracted driving. Three hundred bright blue signs along highways will now encourage drivers to use “texting zones” at rest stops rather than texting on the road.
According to the LA Times, Gov. Cuomo described a worsening problem:
“We have three times more distracted driving incidents than we had five years ago,” said Cuomo, adding that there are now more traffic fatalities blamed on distracted drivers than on drunk drivers. He attributed the shift to more young people who grow up “attached, affixed to the electronic device.”
The 91 “texting areas” are basically just pre-existing rest stops that have been given a new designation. The signs read, “IT CAN WAIT/TEXT STOP 5 MILES.”
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration state that fatalities and injuries involving distracted driving are on the rise, with 3,331 incidents in 2011. Drivers under the age of 20 seem disproportionately represented among fatal accidents involving distracted driving.
New regulations in New York State allow stricter penalties for distracted driving, including five penalty points on the driver’s license and a $150 fine.
A crackdown over the summer also saw four times as many tickets written for distracted driving as were issued in the same time period last year.
What do you think- will the new policies have any effect on distracted driving?
[image via Syracuse.com]