New York state cracking down on distracted drivers
Law enforcement officers across New York state are cracking down on distracted drivers, as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
It is part of the national "U Drive. U Text. U Pay" campaign.
Susan Tocci knows the devastating price that distracted driving can cause. Two members of her family, including her sister, died in crashes caused by drivers who were distracted or impaired.
"Nobody wants to be part of that club," Tocci says.
AAA spokesperson Robert Sinclair Jr. says in 2020, there were over 100 fatal crashes in New York that could be blamed on distracted driving.
"We have to realize that driving is not down time," Sinclair Jr. says. "Driving in itself is multitasking."
He says two seconds with your eyes off the road is enough to cause a crash.
In 2021, police issued 24,000 tickets for vehicle and traffic law violations. A total of 1,600 were for distracted driving. He says it's not always just cellphones, but also distractions by infotainment systems or conversations with passengers.
From now until April 11, if you are pulled over for distracted driving, you can face a fine of $50 to $450, five points on your license, or could have your license suspended.
Tocci says it's important not to overlook how the issue could affect your life.
"Nobody thinks it's gonna happen to them," Tocci says. "It's not if, it's when. It could be a fender bender or you could be where my family is."