Penalties for Texting While Driving in NY Increase

Increased penalties for texting while driving make it even more important to hire an experienced attorney.

             Texting while driving in New York State is now a 5 point violation.  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced this increased penalty for those caught driving and texting, making that “activity” more costly than driving 20 miles over the posted speed limit.[1]  In addition to incurring 5 points, a conviction for texting while driving carries with it a fine of up to $150.00 plus a mandatory surcharge of up to $93.00.  There are serious consequences of a conviction under Vehicle and Traffic Law §1225, texting while driving.  Texting while driving now carries the same number of points as Reckless Driving, an unclassified misdemeanor. 

            Furthermore, Governor Cuomo is proposing a law that would bring harsher penalties to new probationary and junior drivers who would have their license suspended for 60 days after being caught while texting behind the wheel.[2] As I have explained in previous articles, any New York driver that accumulates 11 or more points in an 18 month period will have their license suspended.  Commercial drivers convicted of texting while driving a commercial vehicle face civil and criminal penalties up to $2,750.00, not to mention the potential suspension of their commercial licenses.[3] 

            Drivers that receive 6 or more points on their license are subject to the New York State Driver Assessment Fee starting at $300.00 with an additional $75.00 for every point over 6.  This fee is in addition to any court fines and surcharges.  That means if you are convicted of texting while driving you are only 1 point away from the dreaded Assessment Fee.  There are also increased insurance premiums for a conviction of such a serious offense.  Sending that text while behind the wheel could cost a driver upwards of $1,000.00 when calculating the potential court fines, fees, surcharges and increased insurance rates.   

                    Protect your licnese and hire an experienced, knowledgeable attorney to handle your texting while driving ticket.  There is too much at stake to "go it alone."  Fore more information or for a free consultation regarding traffic offenses, please contact Lorenzo Napolitano at (585) 325-4445 or