As forewarned months ago, the New York Legislature is now just a signature away from enacting a law banning texting while driving. Both the Assembly and dysfunctional Senate approved a law which would make it illegal to write text messages while operating a motor vehicle. Once Governor David Patterson signs this law, it will become effective in November 2009. I am sure that a conviction to this charge will negatively impact your auto insurance as well (similar to the way a violation of the cell phone law can result in an auto insurance surcharge).
What wasn’t anticipated, however, was the addition of all electronic devices to the law. Specifically, New York legislators extended this bill to also include such devices as iPods and other mp3 players. Further, if a motorist violates this soon-to-be-enacted law while committing another moving violation (such as speeding or beating a red light), an additional $150 will be added to the fine.
Given the dangers of texting and driving, the rationale behind this new law makes sense. As I reported at New York Traffic Lawyer, a recent study shows that driving and texting is more dangerous than drinking and driving. If you haven’t already, its time to get an iPod dock. What will be harder to remedy will be breaking the habit of checking and responding to emails and texts. As an active Blackberry user who receives literally 100s of text messages and emails a day, this is going to be quite a life-changing effort.