Paterson signs texting-while-driving ban

Posted by on August 28, 2009 at 9:06 am.

Gov. David Paterson announced Thursday that he signed legislation to ban text-messaging while driving, a practice that has led to deadly automobile accidents involving teens in recent years.

“The risks associated with texting while driving are well documented,” he said in a statement. “As we learn more and more about just how dangerous this practice can be, I urge all New Yorkers to drive with caution and get in the habit of putting their cell phones away while driving to protect their own lives and the lives of others.”

Under the law that prohibits texting while behind the wheel, drivers will only receive fines for using portable electronic devices if they are pulled over for violating another law. The maximum fine is $150.

Seventeen states – not including New York – and the District of Columbia have laws that prohibit texting while driving, although several do not take effect until later in the year, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Nine states ban the practice for new drivers.

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