Next Text Stop: 5 Miles

By on

This post comes from Des Toups at partner site CarInsurance.com.

New York has relabeled its rest areas and highway pull-offs as “texting zones.”

Hey, it worked when your local airport turned a parking lot into a “Cellphone Waiting Area.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week personally unveiled the new campaign that adds nearly 300 signs along the New York State Thruway encouraging would-be texters to wait five minutes and pull over to text. The new signs include messages that read, “It can wait. Text Stop: 5 Miles.”

“Five minutes really won’t make a difference” to wait to look at a phone, Cuomo said. “It really won’t. It can wait. And if you wait until you are in a rest area or a service area, you literally may be saving someone’s life, and the life you save may be your own.”

New York has stepped up its anti-texting game dramatically in the past few years.

Lose your license

Improved enforcement of the state’s law has increased the number of tickets for distracted driving fourfold compared with last year. (Part of that enforcement includes officers in high-riding SUVs looking for drivers gazing at their laps — the result of another change in state law that allows police to pull over texters for that reason alone.)

Those convicted face stiffer fines, as high as $150 for the first offense, and younger drivers with probationary licenses can lose their licenses for 60 days.

And the coup de grace, delivered in July: Driver’s license points assigned to the offense rise from three to five. For comparison, that’s the same as reckless driving. A minor speeding ticket is three points.

Any driver with more than six points on a New York driver’s license in an 18-month period has to pay a “driver responsibility assessment” of at least $100 a year for the next three years.

While there is no certainty that your car insurance company will take the texting violation as seriously as the state does, it very well could — and it’s likely the increase in your New York car insurance rates would be even greater than $100 a year.

SRSLY, it can wait.

More on CarInsurance.com:

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,035 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Donald S Young

    Every day I see nurmerous people driving while on the phone in upstate NY. I would like them to enforce it more but the sheer manpower needed would be prohibited.