New York bill would ban texting while driving

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A New York state senator is proposing a ban on text messaging while driving in the state. Sen. Jim Alesi’s bill would make sending or reading text messages while driving a crime punishable by a fine of up to $100.

“It’s more of an effort really to prevent serious accidents than it is to catch people and write them a ticket,” Alesi told the Associated Press Friday, Nov. 16. “It will save lives.”

The law proposed by Alesi, a Republican, also would require the state Department of Motor Vehicles to educate new drivers about the dangers of “driving while distracted.” Using a handheld cell phone while driving was outlawed in New York in 2001.

Already this year, New Jersey and Washington state have passed laws to ban texting while driving. Beginning next July, California drivers under age 18 will have to put down all cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.