If you've driven the North Way in the last couple of days, chances are you've seen the signs displaying the penalties of the new Text & Driving Law. To be honest, I had no clue of the new and stiffer fines until I saw the signs; I guess they did their job because they definitely got my attention.

So what exactly are the new fines and penalties under this law?

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles website, the minimum and maximum fines have been raised along with the driver violation points on your license if convicted of breaking the new law.

The first offense will see a maximum fine of $150 along with 5 points added to your license, that's up from 3 points.

The second offense in an 18 month period sees the maximum fine raised up to $200 and if there is a third offense in that 18 month period, the max fine is $500.

For drivers considered to "probationary or junior driver" the fines and penalties have stiffened too. A conviction of violating the new rules will see suspension of their permit or license for 60 days. If they violate the law again within a six month period they could see a revocation of their license for 6 months.

Governor Cuomo spoke back in July of this year about the new penalties:

Distracted driving has become a frightening epidemic on our roadways, and fines are an important tool to punish and prevent this reckless behavior. Combined with stronger penalties on your license and increased enforcement, these increased fines will send a tough message to all drivers that distracted driving is a serious problem with serious consequences.