- The Washington Times - Monday, July 29, 2013

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has launched a $1 million initiative to dissuade texting and driving, including purchasing specially modified Chevy Tahoes that sit higher so officers can easily peer into other vehicles.

Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, also signed a law that raises penalties for texting while driving to match those for reckless driving and speeding, the Daily Mail reported.

First-time offenders will be fined between $50 and $150 and lose five points from their license. Second-time offenders will be fined up to $200 and could pay up to $400 thereafter, The Mail reported.

“Distracted driving has become a frightening epidemic on our roadways, and fines are an important tool to punish and prevent this reckless behavior,” Mr. Cuomo said in a news release. “Combined with stronger penalties on your license and increased enforcement, these increased fines will send a tough message to all drivers that distracted driving is a serious problem with serious consequences.”