Salt Point, NY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held symbolic bill signings in the western and northern portions of the state Thursday, before holding an event in the Hudson Valley. WAMC's Greg Fry reports that the focus was a new bill to discourage texting while driving...
Cuomo first signed the bill earlier this week in New York City. Today, after events outside of Buffalo and Watertown, Cuomo held a ceremonial bill signing at the New York State Police Troop K Headquarters in Dutchess County. The new law gives authorities the freedom to pull over drivers who are using mobile devices while behind the wheel. Drivers can be fined up to 150 dollars, and given three points for the violation. Cuomo spoke about the merits of the law, and why it was designed to give law enforcement more power to enforce it.
The Governor says they understand the temptation, and that people are connected to these devices. However, he says we've lost too many lives and too many young people already.
Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian "Butch" Anderson says members of his department have been advised about the law. He was asked if it would present any additional burdens to his department, such as additional time spent by deputies enforcing the law. Anderson responded by saying we'll see, adding that it will add to overtime costs, but that it's another measure that will save lives.
Governor Cuomo did not take questions from reporters following the bill signing. He did, however, take a few moments to single out one member of the audience, New York State Senator Stephen Saland, when first taking the stage. Cuomo called Saland a man of conviction, courage, and principle. It was the Governor's first public appearance in Saland's district since the long-time senator was a key vote in the adoption of marriage equality last month in Albany.