Nassau eyes app to curb texting while driving

A pilot program in Nassau County will forgive drivers caught texting while driving if they prove they can change their behavior. The current penalty includes

A pilot program in Nassau County will forgive drivers caught texting while driving if they prove they can change their behavior.

A pilot program in Nassau County will forgive drivers caught texting while driving if they prove they can change their behavior. (6/6/16)

WOODBURY - A pilot program in Nassau County will forgive drivers caught texting while driving if they prove they can change their behavior.

The current penalty includes a hefty fine and five points on the driver's license. Drivers can have their licenses suspended after obtaining 12 points. 

The program will add a monitoring device to the driver's car that, when paired with a smartphone app, blocks touchpad use in moving vehicles. If the driver goes 90 days without texting and driving, they will not get the points.

"We need our drivers to be more concerned with oncoming traffic, rather than incoming messages," says Nassau Executive Ed Mangano.

The ticketed person will have to pay a $125 fee to get the device. It gets mounted like an E-ZPass near the rearview mirror and is connected to a smartphone app that disables the phone's keypad while the vehicle is in motion. Drivers would still be able to operate their phones with voice commands to encourage hands-free driving.

Some critics say the plan doesn't go far enough to dissuade distracted driving.

"My concern is that there are no points," says Marge Lee, a safe-driving advocate. "I don't think you should be given a free pass."

Points or not, officials say drivers caught texting will still face the same fines.

In 2015, Nassau County says it issued more than 2,000 violations for texting while driving.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

A Queens man died Friday after a car 1 Driver strikes, kills pedestrian in Carle Place
In 2015, one in four drug overdoses were 2 CDC: 1 in 4 fatal drug overdoses linked to heroin in 2015
Police say they have arrested Jonnathan Santos, 20, 3 Police: Man arrested following fatal crash in LIE in Syosset
Reporters line up in hopes of attending a 4 White House bars major news outlets from informal briefing
According to police, the car crashed into a 5 Police respond to car into building in North Bellmore

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Currently, drivers convicted of using an electronic device Mangano expected to unveil distracted driving program

Nassau officials are looking to put the brakes on distracted driving.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE