Driving While Using a Hand-Held Device in New York



    Sometimes it’s hard to disconnect from our cellphones, as they are the gateway to all our communications today.  However, using your cell phone while operating a vehicle can have some hefty fines and serious consequences, especially for multiple offenses.

    New York was the first state to ban the use of cell phones while operating a moving vehicle without the integration of a hands-free method.  Initially, receiving a ticket for using a hand-held device while driving only came with a small fine.  However, after lawmakers realized how serious of a distraction cell phone usage can be while driving, they decided to take a tougher approach.  Besides speeding tickets, tickets issued for use of cell phone can be a very serious traffic ticket to get.

    Today, a ticket issued for using a hand-held device in the state of New York can hold a fine up to $150.00.  An individual who is caught using a hand-held device while driving also risks getting 2 points assessed to their driver’s license and driving record.

    What constitutes a hand-held device, anyways?

    New York state is very specific when defining what constitutes a handheld device.  Accordingly, a hand-held device can be a cell phone, PDA, laptop, pager, video game console, or any other personal/portable communications device.  It is best that, when driving, these items are put away somewhere safe where they could not influence you to become distracted.

    Some motorists may think that speaking over speakerphone or speaking texts into a phone does not constitute using a hand-held device, but these are not permissible.  Talking on your phone using the speakerphone option on your phone, and not the Bluetooth option, can still cause a police officer to stop you and issue a ticket for using a handheld device.  The same applies to speaking a text, as this can be considered a serious distraction.

    If you receive a ticket for using a hand-held device while operating a vehicle, it’s important that you know your rights.  Contact the experienced defense attorneys at Grunwald & Seman, P.C. today for your free consultation.

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