New York state is imposing tougher penalties on motorists who use hand-held mobile phones while driving.
As of Nov. 1, young and new drivers caught texting or using a cell phone without a hands-free device face a 120-day license suspension. A second offense will lead to a year-long suspension.
More experienced motorists will also face steeper fines for repeat offenses. Currently, drivers found to be using a hand-held phone twice within an 18-month period are fined $200. As of Nov. 1, the penalty increases to $250.
The $50 fine for a first offense will remain unchanged.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says driving habits develop early and the tougher penalties will remind younger drivers that texting while driving is unsafe and unacceptable.
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