New York aims to fortify texting while driving law
Earlier this month, the New York Senate took a tougher stance against texting while driving, approving a bill that fortifies exisitng laws against the act.
New York is one of 32 states (plus the District of Columbia) in which texting while driving is banned for all drivers. But state legislators are looking to strengthen current law to make it easier for police officers to ticket texting while driving and also by increasing penalties for the act.
On May 2, the Senate passed a bill that changed texting while driving from a secondary offense to a primary offense. Because texting while driving is currently a secondary offense, drivers can only be ticketed for texting while driving if they are pulled over by police officers for a primary offense, such as a stop sign violation or speeding.
By changing it to a primary offense, officers would be able to pull drivers over solely for being caught texting while driving.
Under the new legislation, a driver caught texting while driving would be subject to a $150 fine and two points would be added to his/her record. Because of the points that would be added to drivers’ records, this legislation could have an impact on auto insurance rates for NY drivers, as well.
Different insurance companies have different – and often complex – policies regarding points and auto insurance rates, but it is safe to say that adding points to a driver’s record has the definite potential to negatively affect that driver’s auto insurance rates. Depending on the specifics of an individual driver’s car insurance policy and his/her driving record the impact on rates could be significant or minimal.