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NY Issues More Than 20,000 Tickets For Texting At The Wheel In First Year Of Distracted Driving Crackdown

(source: Thinkstock)

(source: Thinkstock)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Authorities in New York report issuing more than 20,000 tickets to motorists in the first year under a tougher law against using handheld electronics while driving.

WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane On The Story 

According to the governor’s office, police issued four times as many tickets for so-called texting while driving after it was made a primary traffic offense last July compared to the year before.

Distraction.gov, the official United State government website for distracted driving, reports that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed the law, says the increase in tickets shows the law’s usefulness to “crack down hard on distracted driving.”

Data show more than 3,700 tickets issued the past year in Manhattan, followed by Queens with about 3,300 and Brooklyn with 3,200.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)