Cell Phone Use and Texting Violations in New York
Electronics have become more prevalent, more portable, and more powerful as each year passes by. Cellphones today have more computing power than all of the technology that sent astronauts to the moon for the first time! Is it any wonder that these mini-computers can act as a distraction to so many drivers? In fact, many law makers view distracted driving on par with drinking and driving, in terms of the danger to the public. As such, states are passing stricter laws to try to combat distracted driving.
As of May 2013, New York State has the strictest penalties for unlawful use of cell phones, texting violations and other electronics in the country. It is a violation to use any electronic device for a number of reasons, even when stopped briefly, such as at a traffic light. The penalties for these violations can be substantial, sometimes costing hundreds of dollars. It is important to understand texting while driving charges and other cell phone usage violations in New York, along with the points that they carry. This can mean the difference between a clean driving record and a possible suspended license.
Understanding unlawful cell phone use:
The penalties for using your cell phone while operating can be pretty harsh. As of June 1, 2013, the penalties have increased from 3 points to 5 points against a driving record. These new consequences are on par with dangerous violations like unlawfully passing a school bus and reckless driving. Two violations within an 18 month period can result in heavy fines, and if these infractions are coupled with any other moving violations, a driver can find themselves with a suspended license. There are numerous ways to receive a ticket for a handheld electronic violation outside of texting and driving. Here are just a few to be aware of:
- Talking on a cell phone as a handset or speaker phone
- Holding a GPS Unit
- Listening to music on a handheld phone or MP3 player
- Playing portable games
- Initiating a call without a hands-free headset
Penalties for younger-aged and permit drivers are even more severe than for licensed drivers, and in some cases they can result in an immediate suspension of a driver’s license. The presumption is that if the phone or personal electronic device is in your hand or up to your ear than you are using it in the eyes of the law. If you are facing a texting violation in New York, call Hillman Law to fight for your driving rights. Often, the right attorney can negotiate your case to a lesser charge; saving points from your license. Sometimes this can even be resolved without requiring an appearance in court. If you have questions about your legal options, contact us today.
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