Tag Archives: texting

Cuomo signs tougher texting-while-driving law


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Governor Cuomo's Flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation into law strengthening texting-while-driving penalties for young and new drivers.

“Statistic after statistic shows that texting-while-driving is a chronic problem in our society, particularly among teenagers, and it will only get worse if we do not take action to prevent this deadly behavior,” said Cuomo. “That is what this law will do: it will make drivers of all ages think twice before taking their eyes off the road to answer a message on their phone.”

The new law will apply to probationary license holders, those who passed their test within the last six months and junior license holders, drivers under 18 who have some license restrictions.

For the first conviction, probationary and junior licenses will be suspended for 60 days. If there is another violation within six months of the license being restored, probationary licenses will be revoked for six months and junior licenses for 60 days.

Those are the same penalties probationary and junior licenses holders receive for speeding and reckless driving.

When Cuomo proposed the legislation, he also directed the state DMV to increase penalties for texting-while-driving for all drivers starting the weekend of June 1. He asked the New York State Police to increase enforcement of the texting-while-driving ban during the summer.

Under the order, the DMV increased the number of points earned on a person’s driving record from three to five if they are convicted of texting-while-driving and other cell-phone related violations.

 

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Governor Cuomo announces stricter penalties for driving while texting


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of Twitter/@NYGovCuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced new actions to strengthen penalties for texting-while-driving in order to keep all New Yorkers safe on the road.

Effective June 1, Cuomo directed the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to establish tougher penalties for texting-while-driving for all drivers and new penalties for young and new drivers.

“As the father of three teenagers, I know firsthand the importance of instilling safe practices in our young drivers who are developing lifelong habits as they learn to navigate the road,” said Cuomo. “Inattention and inexperience is a deadly combination – one this legislation seeks to deter. We are urging young and inexperienced drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, while putting stronger penalties in place for drivers of all ages who violate the law and put others in danger. No parent should have to experience losing a child at the hands of a text message.”

Starting this weekend, Cuomo has also asked the New York State Police to increase enforcement of the texting-while-driving ban during the summer.

Under this new order, the DMV will increase the number of points, from three to five points earned on a person’s driving record if they are convicted for texting-while-driving and any other cell-phone related violations.

Cuomo is also proposing legislation that would impose the same penalties on drivers for texting-while-driving that they currently receive for speeding and reckless driving.

Probationary and junior licenses would be suspended for 60 days for the first conviction. If there is another violation within six months of the license being restored, probationary licenses would be revoked for six months and junior licenses for 60 days.

“With the increased use of mobile devices, we have all become more concerned about safety on our highway,” said DMV Commissioner Barbara J. Fiala. “I congratulate Governor Cuomo on his continued efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and for putting increased penalties in place for those who engage in the dangerous behavior of texting while driving.”

Text message turns 20


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

text message

Though it might seem like a more recent invention, today marks the 20th anniversary of the text message.

On December 3, 1992, 22-year-old Neil Papworth, a British engineer working for Sema Group Telecoms, sent the first short message service (SMS) to Richard Jarvis of Vodafone.

It was sent from a computer to a cell phone and said “Merry Christmas.”

“It happened that day that Vodafone wanted to try sending a message to Richard Jarvis, one of the directors there, who was at a Christmas party. So we sat at the computer and typed him a message and then sent him the message ‘Merry Christmas,’” Papworth told ABC News. “For me it was just another day’s testing, it didn’t seem to be anything big at the time.”

The origin of text messaging actually dates back to the 1980s and a man named Matti Makkonen, also known as the “father of SMS.”

Makkonen, a Finish engineer, reportedly thought up the idea at a 1984 telecommunications conference, but doesn’t consider himself the inventor of SMS because it took others years to come up with the technology for text messaging.

A few decades later, texting has become as common as calling.

A 2011 Pew Research Center survey found that three-quarters of cell phone owners send and receive text messages, and 31 percent of them said they prefer texting to talking on the phone.

But the survey also found that texting and speaking on the phone had leveled off for the adult population.

Last month, the New York Times reported that the total number of messages sent per U.S. cell phone user each month declined for the first time, from an average of 696 texts per month to 678.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com

NYPD cop recovering after being shot in both legs

A person of interest is being questioned after an NYPD police sergeant was shot in both legs Wednesday night in Queens. Sgt. Craig Bier and his partner, both members of an anti-gang unit, were on patrol when they tried to stop a suspect around 10:30 p.m. at 107th Street in Jamaica, police said. Read more: CBS

Queens teen who can text with best takes second place in Times Square contest

Kent Augustine, a 16-year-old Queens boy, blew home field advantage to a kid from Wisconsin, but still walked away with a cool $10,000. Augustine was one of 11 people who competed. Each contestant had to text sentences quickly and accurately until they crowned a champion. Repeat champion Austin Wierschke, 17, won a whopping $50,000. Read more: Daily News

FBI arrests Bayside man for PA bank threat

Tuesday night the FBI arrested a man at his Bayside home for threatening to kill Sovereign Bank employees in Pa., said an FBI spokesperson. According to a complaint filed by the FBI’s New York office, on August 6 Michael Chung faxed a letter to a Sovereign Bank fraud prevention officer based in Pottsville, Pa. regarding a $179,000 home equity loan he had on his 23rd Avenue house, which he was trying to sell. Read more: Queens Courier

Groundbreaking held for new junior high school in Jackson Heights

A groundbreaking was held Tuesday in Jackson Heights, Queens for I.S. 297, a middle school expected to be completed by fall 2014. The new school will provide 400 additional seats in District 30 for grades 6 through 8. Watch video: NY1

Orlando Magic sign Queens product Kyle O’Quinn

It is one of the great rags-to-riches New York stories. Four years ago Kyle O’Quinn was graduating from Campus Magnet High in Queens with only one scholarship offer. On Wednesday night he signed a three-year, $2.5 million contract to play for the Orlando Magic of the NBA. Read more: Daily News