New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants those who speed or violate the state’s hands-free driving law to pay more when it comes to fines and fees. It’s all part of his proposed budget which includes a requirement that speeders not be able to take a plea down to a parking infraction and would also pay an extra $80 fee, plus would increase the maximum fine for violating the hands-free law to $550.

The governor’s proposal would bring in an additional $25 million in annual revenue. The governor’s office also said it would lead to safer roads for everyone.

No doubt some will decry the suggested increases as too harsh on those who commit minor infractions, but the fact is vehicle collisions are hitting the taxpayer’s pocketbook every day in a very real way. Each year hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by communities around the country for public services such as police, fire and paramedics who must respond to vehicle collisions. There are also additional increases felt by tax payers as automobile insurance companies are forced to increase rates to compensate for the money they must pay out as a result of automobile collisions.

Whether or not Cuomo gets his proposed budget, and speeders and talkers are forced to pay more, the public conversation about the responsibility of everyone to maintain safe driving habits each and every time they get behind the wheel must begin now. It is imperative that everyone who drives a vehicle remember they are not just taking their own life into their hands when they speed or drive in an unsafe way, but also the lives of everyone who shares the road with them.