While the DMV is preparing to crack down on cell phone use by drivers, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) said she hopes to give motorists trying to park in the city a break.
As of Wednesday, all motorists caught driving while using a hand-held cell phone will receive two points on their driving records, the state Department of Motor Vehicles announced Sunday.
The DMV said that while driving when talking into a phone without a hands-free set has been an offense that can bring up to an $100 fine since 2001, no points had been associated with the crime. But a later law, enacting a ban on texting while driving, has had a two-point penalty attached to it as well as a fine of as much as $150, the DMV said.
“By strengthening the current law, our hope is that motorists will become even more aware of the potential consequences of their actions if they use a cell phone while driving,” DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner J. David Sampson said in a release.
Meanwhile, during her annual State of the City address Tuesday, Quinn said she is engaged in drafting three pieces of legislation to ease the burden on those parking in the city.
First, she is working with Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx) to pass legislation so streets with the highest cleanliness ratings for two years will not have their weekday days of alternate-side parking reduced from two to one.
Next, she and Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan) plan to pass legislation for a web site alerting New Yorkers to temporary street closings.
Finally, she and Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) will work to protect those who receive parking tickets in the period between when they are putting their money in the Muni-Meter and when they come back to their cars.
“If you show your receipt to the agent, they have to tear up your ticket on the spot,” Quinn said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cn
©2011 Community News Group
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