We should start calling it TBTW: Texting Behind The Wheel. Or driving stupid.

Whatever you call it, more New York drivers are getting busted for it, now that the state has started cracking down on drivers who spend more time with their eyes on their handheld device than on the road in front of them. This is good news for the state which pockets an extra $150 for every citation handed out–and police are handing out more now than before the law went into effect last year–but it’s bad news for anyone who wants to drive in New York, because it appears drivers there haven’t learned how dangerous it is.

According to numerous studies, distracted driving is even more dangerous than driving under the influence. And you can’t get much distracted than trying to send a text message while driving down the highway at 65 mph. New York defensive driving is all about using common sense and caution every time you get behind the wheel. However, thinking you can drive defensively while tapping out “hey what’s on tv tonight? I’m bored” is just plain stupid.

There simply is no safe way to text and drive. Having a friend hold the wheel while you key in letters is the height of stupidity. Call it stupidity times 2, and don’t do it.

New Yorkers have enough problems without worrying about whether or not the oncoming driver is looking at the road ahead of them or the picture of a dog in a monkey suit someone just sent them. Defensive driving is not an accident. It’s a habit. A carefully groomed habit which requires you to practice, concentrate and perform at your optimum level every time you get behind the wheel. Not just when you feel like it.

If you get busted for texting while driving in New York, you’ll get a $150 fine and three points added to your license. You can take our defensive driving course New York to get the points off your license, but we can’t fix stupid.

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net