Distracted driving has gone from being a niche issue to one of the most pressing safety concerns on the modern roads. Almost everyone has a mobile phone, and many drivers do not take the appropriate steps to ensure their safety and the safety of others while driving.
New York is one of the many states that have passed laws limiting the use of digital technology at the wheel. Those who text while driving may face enforcement efforts and penalties if they get caught, even if they don’t cause a crash.
What are the penalties for using a phone while driving?
Texting, surfing the web or even holding onto a phone and talking to someone while driving are all violations of New York’s traffic laws. Cellphone infractions are typically minor offenses that only cause financial penalties, but lawmakers have even increased the fines to make the consequences more serious.
A first cellphone use violation carries a fine of between $50 and $200. Someone without a prior cellphone offense in the last 18 months will need to pay up to $250 for a second infraction. A third or subsequent offense within 18 months will cost as much as $450!
If the person pulled over for a mobile phone violation is a driver still in training or with a new license, the penalties are even more serious. Those with a learner’s permit, junior license (MJ or DK license) or a probationary license, will lose their license or permit for 120 days after a first cell phone infraction. If that driver has a second offense within six months of getting their license back, the state will revoke their license for at least a year.