Stricter laws went into effect Saturday to put the brakes on serial texters who send missives while behind the wheel, Gov. Cuomo announced.
Under the law, newly licensed motorists convicted of texting while driving will have their license suspended for 120 days on the first offense, and revoked for a year if the offender is found guilty of a subsequent violation within six months of the license being returned.
All drivers now face a maximum fine of $200 for a first-time offense, increased from $150; a second offense within 18 months to $250 from $200; and a third or subsequent offense to $450 from $400, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
“Driving habits are developed early, and we are sending a message that texting while driving is unsafe, unacceptable and downright dangerous,” Cuomo said.
About 10% of all drivers under 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.