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NY State Driving/Cell Phone Violation

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So a few days ago, New York City police had one of their "Campaigns" where they focus on writing tickets for use of cell phones while driving. I happened to catch an early warning by the local news before heading to work that day. I drive a truck in the city and use my iPhones maps application frequently for directions to my next location. But seeing the news, I made an honest effort to minimize that. Well I got a ticket. Here's what happened:

At a stop light I simply reached down lifted the phone chest high and glanced quickly, (maybe 3 secs tops) at my directions and placed it back in the cupholder.

I have done some research on the net and simply cannot find an up to date posting of the current applicable legislation or law that is current. I can only find blogs, discussions, and other forums, that have some decent info, but not enough to base my decision on whether I want to risk additional fees by challenging this at a hearing and being found guilty.

Does anyone have an informed or professional opinion on this? I totally agree that laws are needed about this.... but it really irritates me how the cops are sent out to basically make revenue on a single day as opposed to consistently enforcing the law, meanwhile when I see a squad car these days at least one, sometimes both cops are holding a cell up to their face. These guys couldn't even tell me what the law was when I asked.

I have read where people have beat these violations by bringing in their cell phone records. and various other cases touching on certain technicalities of how the device was being used have had different results so I am very interested in finding out more so I can possibly avoid the 130.00 fine.

I hope there are others who might read this that are also interested in knowing what exactly our rights are as well as informing others on legislation that has such a "grey area" when it comes to interpreting this new law.

thanks in advance!


Brooklyn, NY

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§1225-d. Use of portable electronic devices.

1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall

operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device

while such vehicle is in motion.

2. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) "Portable electronic device" shall mean any hand-held

mobile telephone, as defined by subdivision one of section twelve

hundred twenty-five-c of this article, 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.

(B) "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.

3. Subdivision one of this section shall not apply to (a) the use of a

portable electronic device for the sole purpose of communicating

with any of the following regarding an emergency situation: an

emergency response operator; a hospital; a physician's office or health

clinic; an ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or

company; or a police department, (B) any of the following persons

while in the performance of their official duties: a police officer or

peace officer; a member of a fire department, district or company; or

the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in section

one hundred one of this chapter.

4. A person who holds a portable electronic device in a

conspicuous manner while operating a motor vehicle is presumed to

be using such device. The presumption established by this subdivision is

rebuttable by evidence showing that the operator was not using the

device within the meaning of this section.

5. The provisions of this section shall not be construed

as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a portable electronic

device, unless otherwise provided by law.

6. A violation of this section shall be a traffic infraction and

shall be punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred fifty

dollars. Provided, however, that a summons for operating a motor

vehicle in violation of this section shall only be issued when there

is reasonable cause to believe that the person operating such motor

vehicle has committed a violation of the laws of this state other

than a violation of this section.

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