NEW YORK - Harsher penalties for texting while driving went into effect today.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had announced tougher penalties for drivers caught texting behind the wheel this past week.
Drivers caught texting while driving will get five points on their license – an increase from the current penalty of three points. Cuomo is also backing legislation that would see drivers with junior or probation licenses receive a 60-day suspension for texting.
"We want the message to be very clear to young drivers,” says the governor. “Don't do it. Don't think about doing it. And if they are doing it - we want to catch them when they're young.”
The governor has called for a summerlong crackdown on texting while driving. State police have been ordered to increase patrols and will be out in force this weekend.
For Gov. Cuomo's extended remarks, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.