Before Tuesday, if Syracuse Police Officer Lonnie Dotson saw someone texting while driving, he couldn't ticket them unless they broke another traffic law. Texting was only considered a secondary offense in New York State.
"A lot of times, you're following the motorist, you can see they're texting and you need that secondary offense. What's going through our mind is, OK - do I follow them and watch them cross a double solid second line and hit somebody head on?" said Dotson.
On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo signed a bill that makes texting a primary offense. Now if officers see someone typing - it's easier to stop and ticket them. A conviction can put two points on your license and carries a fine of up to $150.
It's estimated that one in five crashes in New York is caused by distracted driving. The governor also increased the penalty for talking on a cell phone while driving from two points on your license up to three points
The new law doesn't just cover talking and texting - it also makes it illegal to browse the internet, check your e-mail even take pictures or play games while driving.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill that will allow police to stop motorists they see texting while driving.
Thirty-four states as well as the District of Columbia and Guam already make texting while driving a primary violation.
The bill was passed by the Legislature this year . and signed Tuesday. Drivers will face up to a $150 fine for texting while driving.
Cuomo will also seek tougher penalties through regulation for texting and talking on a cell phone.
The new law comes after texting contributed to several fatal accidents in New York.