Distracted driving may take many forms, but one of the most common dangerous behaviors is using a cell phone while behind the wheel. Texting, reading emails or browsing the web while driving may lead to serious accidents and injuries. New York is one of the many states that has passed laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving. A conviction for texting while driving may result in fines and/or license suspension. 

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, you may not use a portable electronic device or hand-held cell phone while you are driving. There are several actions that count as violations of this law. For example, it is illegal to hold your phone in your hand while talking on it. You may not play games, take pictures or view websites. The law also prohibits reading emails, composing and sending text messages, browsing the internet and saving electronic data. 

There are a few exceptions to the state’s ban on using electronic devices while driving. If you pull into one of the designated Texting Zones on a state highway or thruway, you may park and legally use your mobile device. You may also use your phone while you are driving if you need to contact law enforcement personnel or first responders in the event of an emergency. 

Breaking the texting and driving law may lead to a fine up to $200 for the first offense. Subsequent convictions may incur higher fines. You may also get points on your driver’s license. Accruing more than 10 points in 18 months may lead to a license suspension. 

This information on New York’s distracted driving laws is intended to be educational; it should not be taken as legal advice.