New York Institutes 'Texting Zones' for Drivers

In an effort to combat texting-while-driving accidents, New York's implementing official 'texting zones' for drivers who really, really need to send that message. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's initiative means that the next time a driver needs to ask a significant other to take the dog out, they can pull over to one of 91 handy new 'text stops' along state highways. Two hundred and ninety-eight signs will alert drivers to the nearest text stop, along with encouraging messages such as 'It can wait.' This is what we've come to, people.

"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," Cuomo said in a press statement.

The zones — which are effectively just a re-branding of existing select rest stops, Park 'N Rides, and parking areas — are meant to curb accidents caused by texting and driving.

The announcement is park of a larger effort New York has been making to crack down on distracted driving (tickets were up 365 percent this summer compared to last year). Recent legislation has also increased the penalty for texting while driving, with fines now ranging from $50 to $400, depending on the number of previous offenses.

“This campaign is sending a clear message to motorists: It can wait," Joan McDonald, New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner said. "There is no text that is important enough to jeopardize a life."