Search SafeNY

NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law
Excerpts

Distracted Driving, Talking & Texting

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST!
These excerpts are provided for information
only and NOT as the basis for legal or judicial
determinations. ALWAYS verify them against
the most recent available copy of the law. The entire
Vehicle and Traffic Law, sorted by section number, is
available from the New York State Legislative Bill
Drafting Commission (scroll down to VAT)

Contents

Article 33 Miscellaneous Rules
Section 1225-c. Use of mobile telephones.
Section 1225-d. Use of portable electronic devices.

§1225-c. Use of mobile telephones.

1. For purposes of this section, the following terms shall
mean:

(a) "Mobile telephone" shall mean the device used by
subscribers and other users of wireless telephone service to
access such service.

(b) "Wireless telephone service" shall mean two-way real time
voice telecommunications service that is interconnected to a
public switched telephone network and is provided by a
commercial mobile radio service, as such term is defined by
47 C.F.R. § 20.3.

(c) "Using" shall mean (i) holding a mobile telephone to, or in
the immediate proximity of, the user's ear; and (ii) with
respect to a person operating a commercial motor vehicle,
holding a mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity
of, the user's ear, or dialing or answering a mobile telephone
by pressing more than a single button, or reaching for a
mobile telephone in a manner that requires such person to
maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving

that for purposes of this section. that no person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call on a public highway including while temporarily stationary because of traffic. restrained by a seat belt that is installed in accordance with section 393.93 of title 49 of the code of federal regulations and adjusted in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer's instructions. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section. a mobile telephone used by a person operating a commercial motor vehicle shall not be deemed a "hands-free mobile telephone" when such person dials or answers such mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button. or other momentary delays. (i) "Motor carrier" shall have the same meaning as such term is defined by subdivision seventeen of section two of the transportation law. Provided. a traffic control device. 2.position. however. whether or not permanently part of such mobile telephone. but shall not include holding a mobile telephone to activate. but shall not require physical contact with such operator's ear. (h) "Commercial motor vehicle" shall have the same meaning as such term is defined by subdivision four-a of section two of the transportation law. deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone. whether or not the use of either hand is necessary to activate. or that is equipped with an attachment or addition. however. however. Provided further. no person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a public highway while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion. provided. by which a user engages in a call without the use of either hand. that a person shall not be deemed to be operating a commercial motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call on a public highway when such vehicle is stopped at the side of. (g) "Immediate proximity" shall mean that distance as permits the operator of a mobile telephone to hear telecommunications transmitted over such mobile telephone. (f) "Engage in a call" shall mean talking into or listening on a hand-held mobile telephone. or off. deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone. (d) "Hand-held mobile telephone" shall mean a mobile telephone with which a user engages in a call using at least one hand. a public highway in a location where such vehicle is not otherwise prohibited from stopping . (e) "Hands-free mobile telephone" shall mean a mobile telephone that has an internal feature or function.

provided. unless otherwise provided by law. a hospital. rule. however. a fire department. district or company. district or company. a traffic control device. or off. or (c) the use of a hands-free mobile telephone. (d) No motor carrier shall allow or require its drivers to use a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial motor vehicle as provided in this section. or in the immediate proximity of. regulation or any lawful order or direction of a police officer. a public highway in a location where such vehicle is not otherwise prohibited from stopping by law. (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. 4. . both of which were committed within a period of eighteen months. his or her ear while such vehicle is in motion is presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section. all of which were committed within a period of eighteen months. (b) An operator of any motor vehicle who holds a mobile telephone to. A violation of subdivision two of this section shall be a traffic infraction and shall be punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars upon conviction of a first violation. (c) The provisions of this section shall not be construed as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a mobile telephone. an ambulance company or corps. Subdivision two of this section shall not apply to (a) the use of a mobile telephone for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation: an emergency response operator. or other momentary delays is also presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section except that a person operating a commercial motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call when such vehicle is stopped at the side of. such violation shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars. 3.by law. or a police department. upon conviction of a second violation. or in the immediate proximity of. that an operator of a commercial motor vehicle who holds a mobile telephone to. physician's office or health clinic. upon conviction of a third or subsequent violation. his or her ear while such vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic. The presumption established by this subdivision is rebuttable by evidence tending to show that the operator was not engaged in a call. or the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in section one hundred one of this chapter. rule. regulation or any lawful order or direction of a police officer shall not be presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section.

provided. § 1225-d. as defined by subdivision one of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c of this article. . Provided further. a traffic control device. accessing. viewing. 1. that no person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device on a public highway including while temporarily stationary because of traffic. or. transmitting. send. browsing. No motor carrier shall allow or require its drivers to use a portable electronic device while operating a commercial motor vehicle as provided in this section. Except as otherwise provided in this section. rule. that a person shall not be deemed to be operating a commercial motor vehicle while using a portable electronic device on a public highway when such vehicle is stopped at the side of. or read text for present or future communication. or off. For the purposes of this section. electronic game. sending. (c) "Commercial motor vehicle" shall have the same meaning as such term is defined by subdivision four-a of section two of the transportation law. instant messages. receive. broadband personal communication device. reading. saving or retrieving e-mail. 2. however. laptop computer. personal digital assistant (PDA). or other electronic data. playing games. pager. (b) "Using" shall mean holding a portable electronic device while viewing.such violation shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than four hundred fifty dollars. taking or transmitting images. the following terms shall have the following meanings: (a) "Portable electronic device" shall mean any hand-held mobile telephone. handheld device with mobile data access. text messages. no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion. for the purpose of present or future communication: performing a command or request to access a world wide web page. regulation or any lawful order or direction of a police officer. however. or other momentary delays. Use of portable electronic devices. write. or portable computing device. two-way messaging device. 1-a. a public highway in a location where such vehicle is not otherwise prohibited from stopping by law. or any other electronic device when used to input. composing. (d) "Motor carrier" shall have the same meaning as such term is defined by subdivision seventeen of section two of the transportation law.