You should think twice before using your cell phone on your commute or when traveling through New York. It is illegal to use a hand-held cell phone or text while driving in New York. If an officer sees you holding your phone at the wheel, you could get a costly ticket.
In 2014, more than 239,000 tickets for cell phone use and texting were issued in New York State according to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. Thousands of these tickets were given out in Duchess and Columbia counties alone.
It is okay to mount your phone, use GPS that is mounted in your car or use other hands-free devices. However, you could get a ticket if you are holding your phone in your hand to make a call, use GPS, play a game, send a text or otherwise use your device.
Serious penalties for using your cell phone while driving
According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, a ticket for driving while using a cell phone or similar electronic device can result in serious penalties. If it is your first offense, the ticket could cost $50 to $200. If it is your second offense, you could get a ticket up to $250. For a third offense or subsequent offenses, the fine could be as high as $450. Additionally, you could have VTL points added to your license.
Take action if you get a ticket
You may be able to contest the ticket, without even needing to appear in court. An experienced, local attorney can represent you and help you fight the ticket.
Attorney Glenn R. Bruno handles traffic tickets for clients throughout the Hudson Valley.