New York State’s new texting-while-driving ban went into effect November 1, but it doesn’t pack the punch of Westchester County’s current ban. Under the state’s ban, motorists can be ticketed only if they are caught texting while also committing some other offense—like speeding, or wearing a seat belt. In our county, texting-while-driving is considered a primary offense, and scofflaws can be nailed for that alone.
We’re all for alert drivers, but laws can’t mandate common sense, which, it appears, many Westchester drivers lack in spades. Anthony Uzzo of Katonah was cruising along 684 one morning when he saw a guy eating pancakes from a breakfast tray on his lap, the knife and fork clutched in his hands as he held the steering wheel. He also saw a guy driving a tractor-trailer with his hands behind his head, steering with his knees. He kept it up for 10 miles.
Sandra Loureiro Mato of New Rochelle spotted a woman breastfeeding while driving. David Nayor of Briarcliff Manor saw a woman on the Saw Mill applying mascara. Cynthia Forester of Pound Ridge often sees people driving with a cigarette in one hand, a cellphone in the other. “The eating/cellphone combo is bad enough, but with smoking, you’ve got burning ash—possibly in your lap—to contend with.”
New York State Investigator Joseph Becerra had to look twice when he saw a man driving along Route 121 with his entire left leg hanging out the window. But another officer reports seeing a whole lot more—way more than he’d have liked. Apparently, having sex while driving is quite common, according to State Police Sergeant Joseph Lutz, who has stopped more than one couple in flagrante delicto. “The look on one guy’s face when he realized I was right next to him was priceless.”