According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,166 people were killed in 2017 due to distracted driving. In New York State, the law prohibits the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving, including cell phones, tablets, and GPS units.
While many states have laws banning the use of cell phones while driving, New York’s law is unique due to its strict penalties and widespread enforcement. Drivers caught using a cell phone while driving in New York can receive a fine, points on their drivers’ license, and even potential jail time.
In this post will discuss New York’s laws on cell phone use while driving, the penalties for breaking these laws, and the importance of safe driving practices to reduce distracted driving accidents on New York’s roads.
Cell Phone Use While Driving In New York
New York State implemented a law in 2001 that made it illegal to use a hand-held electronic device while driving. The law specifically prohibited the use of cell phones, pagers, PDAs, laptops, video games, and other electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle.
In 2009, New York State took additional steps to combat distracted driving by strengthening the existing law. The revised law included stronger penalties for breaking the law, including increased fines and the potential for additional points on a driver’s license.
Hand-Held Electronic Devices Prohibited
Under New York’s law, drivers are prohibited from using any hand-held electronic device while driving. This includes cell phones, tablets, GPS units, and other electronic devices.
This law also extends to drivers who are stopped at a traffic light or stop sign. If a driver is operating a motor vehicle and not parked, they are not allowed to use their cell phone.
Exceptions to the Law
There are certain situations where drivers are exempt from New York’s law on cell phone use while driving. Some of these exemptions include:
- Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency responders while performing their duties
- Drivers who are contacting emergency services to report a crime, accident, or hazardous condition
- Drivers who are using a hands-free device, such as Bluetooth, to make phone calls
Penalties for Breaking the Law
The penalties for breaking New York’s law on cell phone use while driving can be significant. Violators can receive a fine of $50 to $200 for a first-time offense.
However, the fines can increase for repeat offenders. Drivers can receive fines of up to $450 for their second offense within 18 months, and fines of up to $550 for their third offense within 18 months.
Traffic Violation Points
In addition to fines, drivers who violate New York’s law on cell phone use while driving can receive points on their driver’s license. As of 2021, drivers can receive 5 points on their driver’s license for a first-offense violation.
Drivers who receive 11 or more points on their driver’s license within an 18-month period can have their driver’s license suspended.
Impact on Insurance Rates
Receiving points on a driver’s license for breaking New York’s law on cell phone use while driving can also lead to higher insurance rates. The increased points on a driver’s record can make the driver a higher-risk client, leading to increased premiums.
In some cases, drivers who violate New York’s law on cell phone use while driving can face criminal penalties. Repeat offenders, or those who cause an accident while using a cell phone, can be charged with a misdemeanor offense.
Drivers who cause an accident while using a cell phone, or those who receive multiple violations, can potentially face jail time. In some cases, drivers who cause serious injury or death while using a cell phone can be charged with a felony offense and face up to four years in prison.
Drivers who receive a second-offense violation within 18 months of a previous violation can face more significant penalties. These penalties can include a fine of up to $450 and 5 points on their driver’s license.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents on New York’s roads. According to a 2017 report by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 19,878 accidents caused by distracted driving
Gina M Wicik Can Help Fight Your Cell Phone Violation
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on Cell phone ticket use while driving traffic contact violation lawyer Gina Wicik .
Take the time to visit this page and learn about all of practice areas our Law Office. To get started, give us a call at 516-253-4278 and we will be happy to assist you further.