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Stiffer penalties for distracted driving start today

ALBANY -- The cost to drive and talk or text is going up in New York State.

As of Friday those convicted of distracted driving will face a mandatory $150 fine and $80 state surcharge while five points will be added to their license. Second and third time offenders, within a year and half, will see penalties increase even more.

Junior drivers, under the age of 18, will have their license revoked for 60 days.

The new penalties were part of a push made by Governor Cuomo who toured the state to sign the law into effect. His office recently release stats showing how prevalent distracted driving is.

In 2012 there were 30,166 tickets issued for the offense, a 234% increase, the office stated.

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