Distracted driving: New York to introduce ‘Text Stops’ along state highways

new york text stops stop cuomo

An AT&T survey earlier this year showed that 49 percent of adult drivers text while driving – that’s a lot of people at some point during their journey taking their eyes off the road to tap out a message on a tiny keyboard while in control of a fast-moving two-ton hunk of metal. Or not in control, as the case may be.

In a bid to persuade drivers to resist checking their phone whenever it beeps or pings or whatever sound it makes when a message arrives, New York State is to introduce so-called ‘Texting Zones’ along its major highways and thruways.text stop sign

Announcing the initiative on Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said a total of 298 signs with messages like “It can wait, Text Stop 5 miles”, will be positioned along the state’s busiest roads, pointing drivers to 91 Texting Zone locations.

The zones will cost nothing to build as they actually already exist in the form of rest stops and parking areas. It’s really all about the signage.

“New York State is continuing to use every tool at its disposal to combat texting-while-driving,” Cuomo said in a release announcing the initiative. “In addition to tougher penalties, new detection methods for state police and ongoing public outreach efforts, we are now launching special Texting Zones to allow motorists to pull over and use their phones.”

He added, “With this new effort, we are sending a clear message to drivers that there is no excuse to take your hands off the wheel and eyes off the road because your text can wait until the next Texting Zone.”

Recently released data shows New York State police handed out 21,580 tickets for distracted driving this summer compared to 5,208 in the same period a year earlier. While the massive 365 percent increase can be attributed in part to a recent enforcement crackdown by police in the state, the figure highlights the extent of the problem, with many drivers clearly unable to resist the lure of a beeping handset.

Cuomo will be hoping his new signs make drivers think twice about reaching for their phone and instead wait till they make it to the nearest Texting Zone.

[Images: Office of Andrew Cuomo]

Cars

21 charged in Chicago carsharing heist; 100+ cars stolen, many still missing

More than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles belonging to carsharing service Car2Go were stolen in Chicago. Police are still working to recover all of the cars, which are equipped with GPS, and 21 people have been charged.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Cars

Electric car buying guide: What you need to know before you buy

EVs are better than they've ever been, but buying your first battery-powered car can be an intimidating experience. Digital Trends has compiled a comprehensive guide that walks you through the process of buying an EV.
Trash

The best MP3 players of 2018 cram tons of music into a small package

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? Don't sweat it. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? No worries. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.
Cars

From rugged wagons to hot sports cars, the 2019 NY Auto Show brought it all

From city cars to supercars, anything goes at the New York Auto Show. Automakers from all over the globe traveled to the 2019 show to unveil their newest concept cars and production models.
Cars

Toyota leads $1 billion investment in Uber’s self-driving tech division

In a move that has been a long time coming, Uber filed its S-1 documents, which sets the stage for the company to finally go public with an initial public offering. The company could be valued at more than $100 billion.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Samsung Galaxy Fold woes, zombie pigs, and more

Today's topics: Samsung Galaxy Fold, Facebook A.I. voice assistants, YouTube comes to Fire TV, facial recognition on airline flights, the SpaceX DART program, Yale's zombie pigs, and much more!
Cars

Carbuying can be tiring: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Cars

Apple’s interest in self-driving cars reported to be revving up

A new report suggests that Apple is in talks with a number of suppliers to purchase lidar sensors, an essential tool for self-driving cars. The news is once again spiking rumors that Apple might be building vehicles.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Cars

Café racer-inspired ebike hits 28 mph quickly and quietly with carbon belt drive

Ebike manufacturer Electra launched the Café Moto Go, an advanced ebike. The Café Moto Go's step-over frame was inspired by café racers. The Café Moto Go is a premium performance ebike built to run smoothly and extra quietly.