New York City Councilman David Weprin has introduced a bill which would ban the sending or reading of text messages while driving within New York City. As the Queens Democrat stated: You’re not looking at the road and you don’t have both hands on the wheel when driving while text messaging… the probability for auto accidents is too high to ignore.” The bill will be modeled after New York State’s ban on the use of cellphones while driving, which imposes a $100.00 fine for this violation of the New York Vehicle & Traffic Law.
The proposal was prompted by the tragic fatal car crash in New York’s Finger Lakes region last summer when 5 teenage girls riding in an SUV died. The accident investigation revealed that the driver was sending a text message when she swerved into oncoming traffic and the vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer.
There are only four states that currently ban texting while driving, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association–Alaska, Minnesota, New Jersey and Washington. Legislation to do the same is under consideration in 16 other states, according to Mr. Weprin’s staff. Based on a 2006 study by Nationwide Insurance, 19% of drivers text message at the wheel, including a whopping 37% of drivers between the ages of 18 and 27.
If you are injured in a New York automobile accident, contact the Law Office of Mark A. Siesel online or at 888-761-7633 for a free consultation with an experienced, knowledgeable attorney to analyze your case and discuss your legal rights and options.