New York police officers have a difficult time citing motorists for unlawful acts of distracted driving. Typically, police have to catch the offender in the act to write a ticket, or cite them when they’ve learned that an auto accident was caused by a cellphone. But law enforcement isn’t the only area of government struggling to make New York’s texting ban impactful.
The court system is struggling to assemble enough evidence to successfully convict suspect drivers. New York texting-while-driving citations only lead to convictions 44 percent of the time. This low number means that more than half of the drivers who are ticketed for the offense beat the charges.
“One of the difficulties would be, if the text hasn’t been completed, it would be difficult to prove that a text was sent in the process of driving,” said Peter Kehoe, executive director of the New York Sheriff’s Association.
As you might imagine, a relatively small percentage of drivers crash immediately after sending a text. Most offenders cause an accident while in the act of texting – before hitting “send” – or while reading an inbound text.
Regardless of law enforcement and the justice system, some NY drivers will continue to engage in distracted driving. When these actions lead to serious injury or death, the motorist can be held liable in a lawsuit.
If you or someone in your family has been harmed by a distracted driver, a New York car accident lawyer can help you explore your legal options.
Source: wgrz.com, “Despite Increased Fines, Texting Convictions Lag,” Patrick Klinck, June 10, 2013