New York is one of 40 states that have banned texting while driving. In the four or so years since the ban went into effect in New York state, a bit more than 11,000 tickets have been issued for all hand held phone violations, including texting.
That number seemed too small to Gov. Andrew Cuomo who is so concerned about distracted driving that upped the number of demerit points a “texting while driving” violation will incurr to five points (from three). It takes 11 points to lose your license in New York. The Governor’s solution to jack up the number of citations issued was to give New York state troopers undercover SUVs, customized with increased ride height, presumably with some kind of airbag suspension. It seems that the high driving position of the lifted SUVs allows the police officers to look down into passenger cars and see whether drivers are using their phones. To publicize the stepped up enforcement, Gov. Cuomo and an ABC News crew got a ride-along with a New York state trooper, who pulled over four drivers in an hour for using their phones.
USA Today looked at many of the states (and D.C.) that have laws against texting while driving and how many tickets they’ve issued for it. The District of Columbia issued the most tickets, over 87,000 (for all hand-held violations), followed by California. Kansas issue the fewest, with 65.