No matter if you live in New York or are traveling through the state, it is imperative that you are aware of the laws governing portable electronic device usage while driving. If you are unsure of the laws, you could make an error that lands you in hot water with local authorities, leading to a severe penalty.
The state of New York is doing its best to crack down on distracted driving, as they realize that this could make for safer roadways.
According to the New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, New York prohibits drivers of all motor vehicles from the use of portable electronic devices. Illegal activity can include the following:
- Talking on a handheld device (only hands free communication is legal)
- Reading, sending, writing or retrieving any type of electronic correspondence such as text messages, emails or websites
- Playing games
- Taking or viewing images
As outlined by the law, “using” means the following:
“Using” shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages or other electronic data.”
By adding this language, there is no gray area regarding what is and is not permissible.
A car accident can happen at any time for a variety of reasons, with distracted driving one of the top causes in today’s day and age. In the event that a person is injured by a distracted driver, they may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss their legal options.
Source: New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, “Distracted Driving, Talking & Texting” Sep. 11, 2014