Starting June 1, 2013, cell phone violations and texting & driving violations now carry 5 points (up from 3). A cell phone violation occurs when a driver uses a phone without a hands-free device. A texting and driving violation occurs when a driver “uses” an electronic device while driving. The terms “use”, “electronic device” and “while driving” are all construed liberally meaning that you cannot even hold your device while behind the wheel of a car that is not parked or else you’ll receive a cell phone ticket.
The new 5-point designation makes these two types of moving offenses the second most serious in the State. Speeding 21+ MPH is the most serious carrying 6, 8 or 11 driver’s license points. An NYC cell phone ticket and texting & driving ticket now carries the same number of points as a reckless driving misdemeanor as well as a passing school bus violation. Motorists can be suspended for accumulating 11 or more points so this change is significant. On the other hand, for those with clean records, a conviction to one cell phone ticket or texting while driving ticket will NOT result in your insurance increasing.
Gov. Cuomo is also proposing that drivers with probationary licenses and junior licenses be suspended for 60 days for just one texting & driving violation or cell phone ticket in NY. Cuomo cited the startling fact that cell phone-related accidents in New York have jumped 143 between 2005 and 2011. New York remains on the forefront of fighting this scourge. Remarkably, many states do not even make this conduct illegal.
Update: A conviction to a texting/cell phone violation during the probation period will result in your license being suspended for 120 days
Our office sees many texting & driving violations and cell phone tickets being issued especially in New York City, Nassau County and Suffolk County. They are often issued at intersections where a motorist is stopped at a light as well as in toll plazas. A police officer on foot can easily catch motorists committing these offenses. Further, these charges are difficult to successfully defend especially in New York City. For your own safety (and that of others), PLEASE, PLEASE put your iPhone or other devices away while driving.
Do you have other questions like how much is a cell phone ticket in NY? Contact us today and we can help provide you with more information and legal advice.