By DEBRA ALFARONE PIX11.com
10:26 a.m. EST, February 16, 2011
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NEW YORK (WPIX) —
It’s not only illegal and unsafe, but now, it might jack up your car insurance and bring you that much closer to losing your license.
Starting Wednesday, if you’re found guilty of driving and talking on your cellphone without a hands-free device, it’ll cost you the usual fine +2 points on your license, and that can pump up your insurance rates.
New York was the first state to adopt the ban on handheld phone use while driving back in November 2001.
For years, it was punishable of a fine of up to $100; now, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will tack on 2 points to your driving record as well. It seems the offense is now catching up to the violation of texting while driving.
In November 2009, the state declared it illegal. It’s punishable by a $150 fine, and 2 points on your license.
The state says distracted driving has a role in at least 20 percent of all car crashes in New York.
If you rack up 11 or more points on your driving record, the DMV can suspend your license.