Many states including New York have penalized texting and driving as a form of distracted driving. Legislators hope to protect individuals from harm by making it illegal for motor vehicle operators to use smartphones and other hand-held electronic devices while they are driving. Prohibitions against texting and driving extend beyond personal drivers though; commercial drivers can face serious penalties if they are found to be texting and driving in their rigs.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration a commercial driver may lose their specialized license if they violate the entity's texting and driving regulations. The prohibition is broad and applies to all hand-held device use. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines using a hand-held device as holding a device in one's hand, dialing by pressing more than one button or reaching out of one's seat to locate a device.
There are also fines associated with a driver of a commercial vehicle texting while behind the wheel. The driver could be penalized up to $2,750, while their employer, if found to be complicit in the use of the device, $11,000. These punishments are separate from the sanctions that a driver may face for violating New York's state laws.
A texting and driving ticket can threaten a driver's ability to do their job and complete the tasks that are important to them and their families. It can put into jeopardy their means of earning an income and their capacity to provide for their loved ones. Anyone who is facing a texting and driving charge can find support in a criminal defense attorney who includes the defense of traffic and moving violations as a part of their practice.