Fines & Points for New York Cell Phone Tickets
New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law prohibits drivers from using portable electronic devices.
“Portable electronic device” means any hand-held mobile telephone, personal digital assistant (PDA), handheld device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device, electronic game, or portable computing device.
“Using” means holding a portable electronic device while talking, 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.
Exceptions to the law are:
- When the driver uses a hands-free mobile telephone, which allows the user to communicate without the use of either hand.
- Using a handheld electronic device that is affixed to a vehicle surface.
- Using a GPS device that is attached to the vehicle.
- When the purpose of the phone call is to communicate an emergency to a police or fire department, a hospital or physician’s office, or an ambulance corps.
- When operating an authorized emergency vehicle in the performance of official duties.
The penalties for a violation of this law shall be five driver violation points and a fine for a first offense of $50 to $200; for a second offense committed within 18 months of $50 to $250; and for a third or subsequent offense committed within 18 months of $50 to $450.
For drivers with a probationary license, Class DJ, Class MJ or a learner permit:
- Conviction results in a mandatory 120-day driver license or permit suspension.
- Subsequent convictions within six months of a license restoration will result in a revocation of at least one year.
For Commercial Drivers (CDL):
- A motor carrier must not allow or require their drivers to use mobile phones/portable electronic devices while driving.
- A mobile telephone used by a person operating a commercial motor vehicle shall not be deemed a “hands-free mobile telephone” when the driver dials or answers the mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button.
- Commercial drivers are prohibited from making a phone call or using a portable electronic device while the vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays.
- An operator of a commercial motor vehicle who holds a mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of, his or her ear while the vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays is also presumed to be engaged in a call.
- An operator of a commercial motor vehicle who holds a portable electronic device in a conspicuous manner while such vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays is presumed to be using the device.