Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


In Gear

You call them 'rest stops,' New York calls them 'text zones'

The traditional rest stop is no longer just for resting... it's for texting. New York's new road sign program combats distracted driving by promoting 'texting zones' to remind drivers to pull over and text legally instead of while driving. 

By Richard ReadGuest blogger / September 27, 2013

A cell phone zone located near Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that road signs will advertise rest stops as 'text stops' as a program to combat distracted driving.

Jay LaPrete/ AP Photo / File

Enlarge

The noble rest stop: an oasis of the interstate where weary travelers can relieve themselves, grab a soda, and do a few jumping jacks to perk up for the long drive ahead. 

Skip to next paragraph

High Gear Media’s flagship website offers news, reviews, and the latest shopping tools for the cars that matter to US consumers. For more expert insights from Car Connection editors and opinions from around the Web, click here.

Recent posts

Related stories

Now, the rest stop is also the place to make phone calls and send text messages -- at least in New York State. 

This week, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new program to combat distracted driving. It doesn't require any office buildings, no new governmental agencies, just the addition of several hundred signs along the state's thoroughfares. 

According to a press release from Cuomo's office, "Existing Park-n-Ride facilities, rest stops, and parking areas along the Thruway and Highways will dual-function as Texting Zones, and signage will be placed along the highway to inform drivers where the Zones are located. A total of 298 signs will be located along major highways across the state, notifying motorists to 91 Texting Zone locations."

There aren't any special services provided at these "Texting Zones" -- there's no mention of improved cell reception or free wifi. As Cuomo says, the signs simply "remind[] drivers that there is a nearby opportunity for them to legally and safely use their phone."

But Cuomo's plan doesn't simply involve rebranding roadside stops. New York State Police have also beefed up enforcement of laws meant to combat distracted driving. In fact, over the summer, police issued 21,580 tickets for distracted driving, a 365 percent increase over the 5,208 tickets issued in 2012.

Earlier this year, those tickets carried a fine of up to $100 and put three points on the offending party's driver's license. Over the summer, penalties ramped up to fines of $150 and five license points. That's probably as good a way as any to make drivers put down their phones and pay attention. 

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best auto bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

Related stories

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer

 

Doing Good

 

What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Endeavor Global, cofounded by Linda Rottenberg (here at the nonprofit’s headquarters in New York), helps entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Linda Rottenberg helps people pursue dreams – and create thousands of jobs

She's chief executive of Endeavor Global, a nonprofit group that gives a leg up to budding entrepreneurs.

 
 
Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!