Assemblymember Gabryszak: ‘Texting’ law having major effect on road safety | Crime
Last year, I helped pass a law that created a statewide ban on the use of portable
electronic devices (PEDs) while driving (Ch. 109 of 2011). The aim of the law is to make
roads safer by cutting down on the amount of distracted drivers. It’s good news for our
area that this legislation is working and the roads across New York State are safer now
than they have been in recent years.
Too many people text or play with electronics while driving, which creates
unnecessary dangerous situations. It not only puts drivers at risk, but everyone else at risk
as well. By having this law in place, police officers can keep our roads safer by cracking
down on distracted driving.
Since the tougher regulations took effect on July 12, 2011, law-enforcement officers
issued 7,495 tickets statewide for texting. In 2010, only 3,248 tickets were issued. In Erie
County, from July 12, 2011 to Feb. 7 of this year, 3,749 tickets have been given out to
people talking on their cell phone while driving and an additional 662 tickets have been
issued to people for texting while driving. Erie County has issued more tickets than any
other county in upstate New York to people who use PEDs while driving and our
roadways are safer because of it.
The police are doing a great job cracking down on those who use PEDs while
driving. It’s estimated that using a cellphone while driving, whether it’s hand-held or
hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood-alcohol concentration
of .08 percent.1 As law enforcement continues its hard work, the number of people who
use PEDs behind the wheel is decreasing. There is still more to be done, but making sure
the roads are as safe as they can be remains a priority. No text is more important than
your life or the life of another driver.
As always, if you have any questions regarding this or any other important
community issue, please call me at 686-0080 or email me at