What are New York’s rules on mobile devices behind the wheel?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2020 | motor vehicle accidents

Not all motor vehicle accidents are avoidable, but you can prevent some. Distracted driving is a huge factor when it comes to car accidents. One of these distractions happens to be the use of mobile devices in the car. 

In New York, according to the DMV, there are texting zones throughout the thruway and state highways. Before you get behind the wheel, however, it is crucial to know what New York’s laws mean when it comes to cellphone usage and driving. 

What is illegal? 

Under the law in New York, you cannot use any mobile phone or electronic device. This means that you cannot talk on a handheld phone, you cannot talk, transmit images or play games. In addition, you cannot compose, read, access, browse or otherwise receive electronic data on the internet while you are behind the wheel. There are no messages that cannot wait until you are able to stop. The more driving offenses you have, the more likely you are to have higher penalties. 

What is legal? 

You cannot use your cell phone for personal reasons while you are on the road. Most phone calls and text messages are completely off-limits. When charged with texting or using your phone while behind the wheel, you could have to deal with fines and points added to your license. If you have more than 11 points in 18 months, then you could wind up with a suspended license. 

There is only one reason to use your cell phone when you are behind the wheel. The one exception is if you use your phone to dial 911 during an emergency.