NY: U can txt while driving in special zones

| October 8, 2013

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveils special "texting zones" along the New York State Thruway and state highways on September 23, 2013. (Photo: Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr)

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveils special “texting zones” along the New York State Thruway and state highways on September 23, 2013. (Photo: Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr)

Want to text while driving in New York? Go right ahead – just make sure you’re in one of the 91 designated texting zones.

Motorists now have special “texting zones” along the New York State Thruway and State Highways, which provide a pull-off area to park and use mobile devices. Existing Park-n-Ride facilities, rest stops and parking areas along the Thruway and Highways will dual-function as texting zones, and signage will be placed along the highway to inform drivers where the zones are located.

A total of 298 signs will be located along major highways across the state to indicate the 91 texting zone locations, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced last month.

Just as these texting zones are launched, Cuomo announced a 365-percent increase in tickets issued in summer 2013 compared to summer 2012 for distracted driving, which has been attributed to an “extensive enforcement crackdown” by state police, according to Governor Cuomo’s office.

This past summer, state police issued 21,580 tickets, more than four times last summer’s ticket total of 5,208.

In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010, according to Distraction.gov. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes, according to the government website. And 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010.

“All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety, but because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction,” according to Distraction.gov.

“New York State is continuing to use every tool at its disposal to combat texting-while-driving,” Governor Cuomo says in a written statement. “In addition to tougher penalties, new detection methods for state police and ongoing public outreach efforts, we are now launching special texting zones to allow motorists to pull over and use their phones. These zones will be identified with signs along the Thruway and State Highways, reminding drivers that there is a nearby opportunity for them to legally and safely use their phone.”

“With this new effort,” he continued, “we are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next texting zone.”

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald says the campaign is sending a clear message to motorists that a text can wait.

“There is no text that is important enough to jeopardize a life, and anyone caught texting while driving will face stiff penalties,” McDonald says in a written statement from Governor Cuomo’s office. “I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership to fight distracted driving and make our roads safe for all users.”

For more statistics on distracted driving, go to distraction.gov.

The following are the locations of the 91 Texting Zones:

County

Highway

Locality/Specific Location

Albany

I-87

New Baltimore Service Area

Albany

I-87

Rest Area – 3 miles south of Albany

Clinton

I-87

Beekmantown

Clinton

I-87

Point Au Roche

Clinton

I-87

Valcour

Essex

I-87

High Peaks NB

Essex

I-87

High Peaks SB

Essex

I 87

Elizabethtown

Essex

I 87

Lewis

Rockland

I-87

Ramapo Service Area

Rockland

I-87

Sloatsburg Service Area

Saratoga

I-87

Clifton Park

Ulster

I-87

Ulster Service Area

Ulster

I-87

Modena Service Area

Ulster

I-87

Plattekill Service Area

Ulster

I-87

Malden Service Area

Ulster

I-87

Rest Area – 11 miles south of Catskill

Ulster

I-87

Rest Area – 8 miles north of Kingston

Warren

I 87

Lake George

Warren

I-87

South Glens Falls

Warren

I-87

North Glens Falls

Westchester

I-87

Ardsley Service Area

Cortland

I-81

Preble

Livingston

I-390

Mt. Morris

Livingston

I-390

Geneseo

Cattaraugus

I-86

Allegany River

Chautauqua

I-86

Chautauqua L./Ellery

Cattaraugus

I 86

Randolph

Cattaraugus

I 86

Randolph

Allegany

I-86

Friendship

Steuben

I-86

Kanona

Steuben

I-86

Campbell

Steuben

I 390

Cohocton

Steuben

US Hwy 15/I86

Erwin

Steuben

I 86

Erwin

Steuben

I 86

Hornellsville

Jefferson

I-81

1000 Islands/Orleans

Jefferson

I-81

Watertown

Jefferson

I 81

Ellisburg

Jefferson

I 81

Ellisburg

Jefferson

I 81

Orleans

Jefferson

I 81

Pamelia

Jefferson

I 81

Pamelia

Jefferson

I 81

Pamelia

Jefferson

I 81

Watertown

Orange

I-84

Wallkill

Orange

I-84

Middletown

Dutchess

I-84

Stormville

Dutchess

I-84

Fishkill

Putnam

I-684

Brewster

Weschester

I-684

Bedford

Orange

I 84

Greenville

Orange

I 84

Greenville

Chenango

I-81

Whitney Point

Tioga

NY 17

Nichols

Tioga

NY 17

Owego

Delaware

NY 17

East Branch

Sullivan

NY 17

Roscoe

Broome

I-81

Penn State Line

Otsego

I-88

Unadilla

Otsego

I-88

East Worcester

Suffolk

I 495

Huntington

Suffolk

I 495

Huntington

Cayuga

I-90

Port Byron Service Area

Erie

I-90

Clarence Service Area

Erie

I-90

Angola Service Area EB

Erie

I-90

Angola Service Area WB

Erie

I-90

Rest Area – 2 miles east of Eden/Angola

Erie

I-90

Rest Area – 7 miles west of Hamburg

Genesee

I-90

Pembroke Service Area

Herkimer

I-90

Iroquois Service Area

Herkimer

I-90

Schuyler Service Area

Herkimer

I-90

Indian Castle Service Area

Madison

I-90

Chittenango Service Area

Monroe

I-90

Ontario Service Area

Monroe

I-90

Scottsville Service Area

Montgomery

I-90

Mohawk Service Area

Montgomery

I-90

Rest Area – 10 miles east of Canajoharie

Montgomery

I-90

Rest Area – 2 miles west of Fultonville

Oneida

I-90

Oneida Service Area

Oneida

I-90

Rest Area – 3 miles east of Verona

Oneida

I-90

Rest Area – 3 miles west of Verona

Onondaga

I-90

Warners Service Area

Onondaga

I-90

DeWitt Service Area

Ontario

I-90

Junius Ponds

Ontario

I-90

Seneca Service Area

Ontario

I-90

Clifton Springs Service Area

Ontario

I-90

Rest Area – 9 miles east of Rochester

Schenectady

I-90

Pattersonville Service Area

Schenectady

I-90

Guilderland Service Area

Seneca

I-90

Rest Area – 15 miles west of Weedsport

Source: Distraction.gov

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