New York has seen a significant increase in recent years in the number of traffic tickets given out for violation of the state’s hand-held cellphone laws. There was less than 4 percent of the state’s ticketing connected to cellphone use and texting in 2011.
In 2015, that number jumped to 39 percent.
A recent publication in LoHud dug into this jump. The piece interviewed officers specifically about traffic violations that involve texting. The officers admit that determining if a person is using his or her phone while driving can be difficult. In an attempt to figure out if a driver is violating these laws, the officers try to examine the driver for signs. Common examples often used by officers include looking down from the road or failing to drive straight within one’s traffic lane.
Will citations continue to increase? It is very possible that police will continue to increase the number of traffic citations given for these types of violations. As noted in a previous piece, New York is considering using a new device after car accidents. This device, referred to as the Textalyzer, would scan the phone to determine if it was in use prior to the accident. This could lead to an increase in traffic citations.
How serious is a texting while driving violation? In New York, a first offense results in five points on the driver’s license and fine of up to $200. The ticket could also result in an increase in insurance premiums. For some, a citation could make it difficult to find insurance coverage.
What if I get a citation? Those who receive a citation for a traffic violation in New York have options. A defense can be tailored to your case and can help to reduce any possible damages. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.