Talking and driving has been illegal in New York State for nearly a decade but starting today, motorists face a more severe punishment for doing so.
Now, in addition to a ticket and $100 fine, a violation will cost you two points on your license. Points can raise auto insurance costs and lead to the suspension of a driver’s license if a person gets 11 points within 18 months.
A two-point penalty has already been in place in New York for over a year for texting while driving. The DMV decided to add the points-punishment for talking in hopes of reducing the number of distracted driving incidents.
The department said distracted drivers contribute to a fifth of all accidents statewide.
New York was the first state to ban driving and talking on handheld cell phones in November 2001.