In a bid to curb accidents caused by motorists who are texting while driving, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled “texting zones” on the state’s highways.
Much like rest stops, which give long-distance and road-weary drivers a rest from travelling, the city’s texting zones are targeted at encouraging hardcore texters to pull over prior to typing a message on their mobile phone.
The 91 texting zones will see almost 300 road signs being put up across New York motorways directing drivers to the nearest texting locations. Signs feature catchphrases such as “It can wait” and list the number of miles that a driver needs to travel to get to the next zone.
“If you wait until you’re in a rest area or service area, you literally may be saving someone’s life, and the life you save may be your own,” said Cuomo at a stop near Albany.
“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.”
The measure is part of the city’s effort to crack down on dangerous drivers.
Aside from this initiative, the city has also raised the fines imposed for texting offenses. Persons caught texting while driving face a fine of between US$50 and US$150 for a first offense and up to US$200 for a second offense within a period of 18 months, while a third offense would cost drivers up to US$400, according to New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles.