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New York’s Cell Phone & Electronic Device Laws To Get Even Tougher
8Feb

New York’s Cell Phone & Electronic Device Laws To Get Even Tougher

About the Author

Matthew Weiss

Matthew J. Weiss, Esq. graduated Hofstra Law School in 1984. He was Law Review and won the law school’s prestigious Procedure Award. Upon graduation, he became one of the first Hofstra Law School graduates to work at the New York State Court of Appeals (New York State’s highest court) working on various appellate matters.

Comments (4)

Eugene Falik - February 8, 2017 11:55 am

There are, of course, several problems with these laws.

First, Title 47 United States Code, Section 333 prohibits any interference with “licensed uses” of the airwaves. Cell phones are such a licensed use. So any cell phone tickets should be removed to the U.S. District Court for adjudication consistent with 47 USC 333.

Second, an action could / should be brought against the issuing officer and jurisdiction.

Third, given that so many devices are electronic, the law is clearly overbroad. Can one be prosecuted for looking at a wristwatch (virtually all are electronic, even “mechanical” ones that use a quartz timer.

Fourth, Is there any rational basis for the legislation? What is the evidence that a hand held device is more dangerous than a fixed device? And if there is no difference, may one look at a speedometer in the dashboard (all are electronic today), but not at a hand held speedometer (such as a smart phone device that uses GPS and is probably more accurate since it doesn’t depend on tire pressure)?

Fifth, may one use an old camera with no electronic metering (but requires considerable intervention), but not a modern fully automatic digital SLR?

Isn’t the law arbitrary, capricious, and without any basis in fact?

Doesn’t enforcement expose the public to serious risk of injury and death?

Reply
    Matthew Weiss - February 8, 2017 5:09 pm

    Eugene Falik,

    As always, thanks for following my blog and share your insightful thoughts. These ideas are all interesting and await judicial scrutiny whenever someone brings them to court.

    Matthew Weiss

Roger M - February 8, 2017 10:42 am

Question is: Who is going to crack down on the law enforcement agent committing the same offense? The commit that offense a lot more than the average citizen, from what I observed.

Reply
    Matthew Weiss - February 8, 2017 5:05 pm

    Roger M,

    Police officers should not violate traffic laws unless it is done in the course of official police business. Of course, as you point out, who is going to enforce this? I cannot say, however, that they do so more than the average citizen.

    Matthew Weiss

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