Cuomo to Close Distracted Driving Loophole

by RLF Attorneys on March 7, 2017

A proposed rule could make it illegal to use electronics while the vehicle is stopped at a traffic light. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

A proposal by Governor Andrew Cuomo aims to close a loophole in New York State’s distracted driving laws. As it currently stands, the law forbids the use of any kind of electronics – including an external GPS system, camera, or smartphone – while the vehicle is in motion.

Some New Yorkers have used the fact that the car must be moving as a defense to avoid distracted driving convictions. The governor is looking to close that loophole. The proposed legislation would make it illegal for drivers to text or use other electronics  behind the wheel even if the car is not moving, such as while stopped at a red light or in gridlock traffic.

Very little detail about the law is available; it was mentioned in a single sentence in Cuomo’s State of the State book. A spokesperson for the New York Department of Motor Vehicles called it a common-sense measure to close a glaring loophole, and all indications are the proposed law would still allow cell phone use when a vehicle is stopped at the side of the road.

A ticket for distracted driving costs around $150 and carries five points for a first offense. Multiple violations can lead to greater fines and even a suspended license. If you or someone you love is facing such consequences, you need to seek legal counsel. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are experienced criminal defense and traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.

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