Waiting for Raymond: Drivers Don’t Have to Be Distracted to Be Reckless

kelly.jpgPhoto: Newsday

When it comes to the perils of distracted driving, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly seems to get it. The Post reported yesterday that Kelly plans to "urge" the DMV to attach license points to tickets for driving while using a cell phone. The violation currently carries a $130 fine, but comes with no points, regardless of the number of infractions.

At least one elected, long-time distracted driving foe Felix Ortiz, Assembly member from Brooklyn, is also on board. So far it looks as if the effort is getting results.

[T]he DMV confirmed it was already looking into stricter regulations for the entire state.

"It’s currently under review," said DMV spokesman Ken Brown. "Clearly,
we recognize that distracted driving is a safety issue."

Asked if the DMV was mulling added fines or points, Brown said, "The entire section of the regulation is being reviewed."

This is welcome news, and it would be nice to see Kelly throw his weight behind other enforcement measures, like "Hayley and Diego’s Law" and traffic cameras, which would also go a long way toward improving street safety. But so far, he hasn’t shown much inclination to take overall reckless driving as seriously as distracted driving.

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