NEW YORK - Penalties for texting at the wheel have gotten stiffer in a statewide effort to crack down on distracted driving.
First time texting offenders will now face a hefty $230 fine and five points on their license. A probationary or junior license holder can lose all driving privileges for 60 days.
A number of studies show the risks of using phones while driving. According to a Federal Highway Administration analysis, drivers are 23 times more likely to crash while texting.
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The dangerous habit hasn't slowed down, some surveys show. A recent AAA study found that 61 percent of young drivers between 16 and 24 years old admitted to texting while driving.