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One year later: Distracted Driving law

ALBANY -- Saturday marks one year since Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Distracted Driving Law. One year later, some say the problem is still there.

"We're trying to answer all of this work stuff, or we're trying to answer our children, we're trying to live and do it all. I don't know how you do it, I don't think the police could write enough tickets," says Cindy Dort with the Saratoga County Cornell Cooperative Extension. 

Dort holds a distracted driving program, mandated for anyone in Saratoga County, ticketed for distracted driving. She tells us the numbers in her class alone are high.

"Our class has 50, 60 attendee's every month that have gotten their ticket and need to take this class, and that's just here in Saratoga County. So I think they're harsh enough, what I don't think that it's easy to enforce," she says.

The minimum fine for using electronics while behind the wheel is $50, with the maximum increased to $150 for a first offense. The, a second offense could cost you $200, and a third $400. If convicted, five points will be added on your drivers license.

Studies have shown that reading or writing a text message while behind the wheel can more than double your reaction time. There are apps that you can download on your smart phone that can hold your text messages until you reach your destination. Dort says those apps are very helpful for reducing temptation. But when it comes to enforcement, distracted driving is hard to crack down on.

"I think it's personal. Plus it's hard to really prove that someone's texting. Think of the resources, because now you have to subpeona the cell phone records unless they have it up here like this, but short of that you really don't know for a fact that they're texting," she says. 
Between 2010 and 2012, the number of tickets issued in the state for texting while driving increased from 3,200 to more than 30,000. Last September, Cuomo announced 91 texting zones at existing rest stops along major highways. Also, about 300 signs were posted to raise awareness of the dangers.

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