State Police crack down on stricter texting while driving penalt - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

State Police crack down on stricter texting while driving penalties

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ALBANY, N.Y. - State law enforcement are cracking down on texting and driving. Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced increased penalties for those who don't keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road and on Monday, officers all across New York are hitting the roads trying to find those distracted drivers.

Police officers say they know what to look for.

"A sure sign is when someone's hand is up to their ear and they bring it down really quick," said Albany County Sheriff's Deputy Tom Halloran.

According to police, you can only get ticketed for using a mobile hand held device while driving.  But there are other obvious ways to be distracted behind the wheel.

"If it takes your eyes off the road, it is distracting you. Especially radios now, they look like TV screens," said Halloran. But police say you can't be ticketed for that. 

As for first time drivers, a first time distracted driving ticket can get your license suspended for 60 days and a second offense can get it suspended for six months.

"I believe the young drivers will pay attention the first time they get caught," said Halloran.  "Sometimes kids need a lesson."

The new penalties go for adults as well. A distracted driving ticket can now get you five rather than three points on your license.

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