New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee has been studying “textalyzer” technology since July, 2016. The technology has the potential to determine if a driver had been using their phone in the moments leading up to a car accident.
According to an article in The Journal News on September 21, 2017 by Natasha Vaughn “this year New Yorkers set an all-time record for seatbelt use. But many of those same motorists who are saving lives by buckling up are still texting behind the wheel putting countless lives at risk” said Terri Egan , Executive Deputy Commissioner of New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Texting while driving has become increasingly perilous on the roadways. New York has bolstered laws to crack down on the habit between 2011 and 2015. 678 people died from distracted driving car accidents in New York. During the same time, 2,784 people were injured as a result of cellphone related car crashes. In 2015, New York issued 217,021 tickets for cellphone violations. 39% of these tickets were for texting while driving.
In 2015, New York increased the penalty for texting while driving from 3 points to 5 points and made it up to $200 fine for the first offense. Young drivers under 21 with a junior license can get their license suspended for a first offense. The ongoing study of textalyzer technology has been looking into variations of the product.