Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 23, 2013

New state highway signs direct drivers to 'text stops'

ALBANY — New York's Thruway and other major state highways are getting nearly 300 new signs directing drivers to "text stops" as part of a campaign against distracted driving.

The blue signs have messages like "It can wait, text stop 5 miles." They refer to 91 "texting zones" at existing rest stops, parking pull-offs and park-and-ride lots.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the initiative on Monday. His spokesman had no immediate estimate of the signs' cost.

"With this new effort, we are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next texting zone," Cuomo said.

Cuomo signed a bill into law in July that boosted the penalty for texting and driving from three to five points on a license. He signed another bill increasing license suspension and revocation periods for young and new drivers convicted of distracted driving.

With increased enforcement this summer, state police issued 21,580 tickets for distracted driving, including talking or texting on a cellphone. In the summer of 2012, 5,208 tickets were issued.

"We told motorists we would be out there looking for violators and we found far too many," State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico said in a prepared statement Monday.

Troopers have been using unmarked SUVs to ferret out drivers who are texting and driving. The vehicles have platforms higher than an average vehicle, allowing officers greater ability to see what other drivers are doing.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results