The next time you get behind the wheel, be sure to keep your cell phone in your pocket. Beginning this coming March, it will be illegal to text and drive in Schenectady County.
County legislators have passed a law prohibiting drivers from using their phone to read or write messages. That makes Schenectady the first county in our area to put such a ban in place.
Supporters say the ban is for your safety.
“When there’s a good idea you don’t have to wait until there’s state legislation, it’s an idea that’s widely recognized and is one that can save lives,” said county legislature chairwoman Susan Savage.
People caught texting while driving face a fine of up to $150.
Some skeptics say it may be difficult for police to enforce the new law.
“In order to make a call you have to press the buttons on your phone. That’s the same activity you make than bans text messaging while driving. The way the bill is written, it’s going to be difficult for someone to prove someone was texting as opposed to making a cell phone call,” said Thomas Carr of Tully Rinckey PLLC.
Schenectady is not the only place with a text message law in place. States like Connecticut, New Jersey and Washington already have texting laws effect.