Binghamton Car Accident Lawyer Applauds $550,000 NHTSA Grant Aimed at Finding Ways to Improve Enforcement of Texting Bans

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Scott C. Gottlieb, a personal injury attorney, expresses hope that New York police can benefit from neighboring states’ development of more effective methods of targeting dangerous distracted drivers.

Binghamton auto accident attorney, drunk driving, fatigued driving, speeding, distracted driving, crash, wreck, law firm, lawsuit, Rochester, Syracuse, New York, NY

Binghamton car accident lawyer Scott C. Gottlieb

It’s encouraging to see that transportation officials are continuing to look for ways to help states identify irresponsible drivers who continue to text despite bans in many states, including New York.

Binghamton personal injury attorney Scott C. Gottlieb today praised a new federal effort to address the increasing number of deadly car accidents caused by drivers who send or receive text messages while driving.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is providing $550,000 to Connecticut and Massachusetts to fund efforts to improve law enforcement’s ability to detect drivers who text and punish them for violating anti-texting laws. According to the agency’s most recent statistics, texting while driving was responsible for more than 3,000 deaths over a one- year period.

“Texting while driving has become an epidemic among American motorists,” said Gottlieb, a Binghamton lawyer whose practice includes representing people who have been injured by distracted drivers. “It’s encouraging to see that transportation officials are continuing to look for ways to help states identify irresponsible drivers who continue to text despite bans in many states, including New York.”

In 2011, the New York legislature passed a law prohibiting texting while driving. It also made texting behind the wheel a primary offense, meaning that police officers can stop motorists solely for engaging in the activity. Since that time, New York police officers have issued more than 20,000 tickets to drivers, according to a July press release from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office. That’s four times more than the previous year.

In Broome County, where Gottlieb practices law, police issued 103 tickets for texting while driving between July 2011 and July 2012, when the law took effect. Only 22 violators were cited during the same period the previous year.

But results from a study conducted by New York researchers show that laws have not been enough to stop drivers from texting while driving, Gottlieb noted.

“The chief problem is that law enforcement has difficulty identifying whether drivers are using their phones specifically for texting,” he said. “It’s important to find effective methods for officers to detect texting in order to curb the unacceptable number of New York car accidents caused by distracted driving.”

The NHTSA money will be used for programs that train officers on how to better spot and stop drivers who are texting while driving, according to a recent announcement from NHTSA. Examples might include stationary patrols, spotters on overpasses and elevated roads and roving patrols. The funds will also help develop media strategies to educate the public on the dangers of texting behind the wheel.

“If successful, the neighboring states of Connecticut and Massachusetts will be able to pass on a wealth of knowledge to New York and the entire country about better ways to stop texting while driving,” Gottlieb said. “Existing laws are important and good, but they’re not enough without proper enforcement. We need an even tougher crackdown.”

People who have been injured by distracted drivers, including those who text behind the wheel, may have the right to seek compensation under New York’s personal injury and wrongful death laws.

“It’s important for injured people to contact an experienced attorney to learn about their legal options,” Gottlieb said. “Car accidents can result in injuries that can be devastating for victims and their families. A successful verdict or settlement can help alleviate some of the financial burden so that victims can focus on healing and rebuilding their lives.”

About Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, handles all types of Binghamton personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases, including cases involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles and boats. The firm also represents clients in actions for wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, dog bites, hunting accidents, birth injuries, brain injuries, construction accidents, fall-down injuries and insurance settlements. The firm regularly employs accident reconstruction experts, investigators, photographers and economists to assist in evaluating and preparing personal injury cases. In 2008, the firm reached the $100 million mark in combined lifetime verdicts and settlements. Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, features a nearby office in Binghamton at 29 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905. For more information, call the firm at (607) 724-7700 or use its online contact form.

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