Starting Wednesday, drivers in New York are facing one of the stiffest bans ever imposed by the nation on usage of handheld cell phones while driving.
According to the new rule, violators will face a hefty fine of $100 as well as a two-point penalty on their licenses.
By strengthening the current law, our hope is that motorists will become even more aware of the potential consequences of their actions if they use a cell phone while driving, State Department of Motor Vehicles Executive Deputy Commissioner J. David Sampson told Reuters.
The law further states that accumulation of a total of 11 points by drivers in 18 months will lead to temporary loss of licenses.
The step was taken to reduce the number of accidents that occur as a result of distracted driving. Although texting is another vital cause of Road Traffic Accidents (RTA), data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and statistical calculations from NSC show cell phone conversations occur far more frequently than texting behind the wheel.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety however states that such penalty will have no effect other than a quieter ride. A spokesperson of the group told Reuters that just as the 2001 law against drivers using handheld cell phones had no effect on the accident rate, the new rule will likewise have no impact.