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Understanding traffic violations for New York distracted driving

A driver's ability to continually check their smartphones and other devices has led to a prevalence of distracted driving. While the danger of distracted driving is well known, people still do it. However, law enforcement is cracking down. In New York, drivers can face a traffic violation and a fine for using a phone while driving. Knowing the law is essential to avoid the harshest penalties.

It is a violation to have a hand-held device while driving. This includes: talking; sending messages, surfing the web or taking part in similar activities; taking images or videos, or transmitting them; and playing games. A person who does this for any reason, except in an emergency, can get a ticket.

Being convicted of this violation will result in points on the driver's license. Getting 11 points within 18 months will result in a driver's license suspension.

Those who get a ticket for this violation on or after Nov. 14, 2014, will be fined a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $200 for the first offense. A second offense within 18 months will be a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $250. A third or subsequent offense within 18 months will be fined a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $450.

For those who were charged from June 1, 2013, the point system will assess five points on the person's license. There are other penalties for junior drivers and commercial drivers.

Getting points on the license can be problematic as it can lead to a loss of driving privileges. A distracted driving citation can also result in hefty fines. As such, contacting a legal professional, experienced in helping clients with traffic violations, is imperative.

Source: DMV.NY.gov, "Cell phone use & texting," accessed on Sept. 17, 2017

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