April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Police officers in New York State will be looking for cell phone law violators.
Enforcement mobilization dates are April 10 – 15th.
Don’t make a dumb choice with your smart phone.
NEW YORK STATE’S MOBILE PHONE and PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICE LAWS
New York prohibits all drivers from using portable electronic devices.
Illegal activity includes holding a portable electronic device and:
- Talking on a handheld mobile telephone
- Composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages, or webpages
- Viewing, taking, or transmitting images
- Playing games
The law defines the following terms as:
(a) “Portable electronic device” shall mean any hand-held mobile telephone, as defined by subdivision one of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c of this article, personal digital assistant (PDA), handheld device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.
(b) “Using” shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages, or other electronic data.
Exceptions to the Laws
- When the driver uses a hands-free mobile telephone, which allows the user to communicate without the use of either hand.
- Using a handheld electronic device that is affixed to a vehicle surface.
- Using a GPS device that is attached to the vehicle.
- When the purpose of the phone call is to communicate an emergency to a police or fire department, a hospital or physician’s office, or an ambulance corps.
- When operating an authorized emergency vehicle in the performance of official duties.
Violation Penalties and Fines — The penalty for a violation of this law shall be 5 driver violation points and a fine, as described below. This is a primary law, which means an officer may stop you if you are observed using a hand held device. It is illegal for drivers to use handheld electronic devices while their vehicle is in motion.
- For offenses committed between October 5, 2011 and May 31, 2013, the violation carried three driver violation points.
- For offenses committed on or after June 1, 2013, this violation carries five driver violation points.
On November 1, 2014, the following changes to the cell phone/texting laws for drivers with a probationary license, Class DJ, Class MJ or a learner permit take effect (for cell phone and texting violations committed on or after November 1, 2014):
- Conviction will result in a mandatory 120-day driver license or permit suspension.
- Subsequent convictions within six months of a license restoration will result in a a revocation of at least one year of a probationary license, junior license or learner permit.
On November 1, 2014, maximum fines for cell phone and/or texting use while driving will increase (for cell phone and texting violations committed on or after November 1, 2014):
- For a first offense, $50 to $200
- For a second offense committed within 18 months, $50 to $250
- For a third or subsequent offense committed within 18 months, $50 to $450