Get ready to fork over 100 bucks if you get caught using your hand-held cell phone while driving in New York state. Gov. George Pataki signed a law banning the use of hand-held cell phones while driving – except in the case of an emergency. New York is the first state to pass such a law.
“It’s about time,” you might be saying. “I’m sick and tired of those *#!?*#? cell phone-gabbing four-wheelers almost running me off the road!”
If that’s how you feel, you’re not alone. Eighty-five percent of New York residents surveyed favor the law. But in reality, cell phones contributed to only 1.5 percent of the 284,000 crashes caused by driver distractions, according to a study by the American Automobile Association.
With improved highway safety as the goal, the New York law should also ban:
- Reading billboards (29.4 percent of drivers were distracted by something outside their vehicle, according to the AAA study).