In an effort to combat the deadly problem of distracting driving, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Sept 23rd that the state will establish 91 texting zones. Some 300+ road signs will be posted to lead motorists to a safe place to stop and send out texts.
These “texting zones” will utilize already established roadside areas like park and ride facilities, rest stops and parking areas.
New York State Police ticketed 21,580 drivers for texing so far in 2013, up from only 5,000 or so in 2012. Gov. Cuomo says that the new “texting areas” give motorists no excuse for texting while driving.
Many other states, such as Illinois, have ramped up Police enforcement of their hands-free laws and increased fines, but New York is the first state to add these new texting areas.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,331 people were killed in 2011 in crashes involving distracted drivers, an increase from the previous year. Roughly 390,000 people were injured in distracted-driving crashes in 2011; 10 percent of injury crashes were caused by distracted driving, according to the NHTSA.
A recent study by PEW showed that young adults, ages 18-24, send or receive an average of 109 texts per day. Of these texts, only one in 9,850 were important and required a response in less than 15 minutes. Most texts were shown to be useless and a waste of everyone’s time who sent them and received them.