Albany (WALK) - As the number of accidents caused by distracted driving continues to climb, Governor Cuomo has announced a new program: the creation of "text stops" along state highways across New York, including the Long Island Expressway.
The Governor unveiled the special text stops yesterday, describing them as pull-off areas where drivers can park and use their mobile devices. Motorists will be able to identify the text stops with large blue signs, like the one at left, which will be going up on the LIE and other highways.
The text stops on the LIE are located in Dix Hills, at the rest stops just west of Commack Road/exit 52. There will be one located on each side of the Expressway, both eastbound and westbound.
"With this new effort, we are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next texting zone," said Cuomo.
Penalties for districted driving in New York State are harsh, including a possible $150 fine and 5 points on your license. Despite the penalties, state police issued 5,553 tickets for texting while driving during one period over Summer 2013, up from 924 tickets issued during the same time period last year.
Cuomo pointed out that distracted driving can be deadly, causing 5 times more traffic fatalities than drunk driving. According to the governor, 1 in 5 traffic accidents are attributable to distracted driving.
Photo: NYS Governor's Office