In the state of New York, texting while driving is illegal. Under state law, no driver may utilize a hand-held mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. Illegal activity on a mobile or portable electronic device includes:
- Talking on the device
- Composing, reading, sending, accessing, transmitting, browsing, retrieving or saving electronic data. This includes text messages, e-mails and webpages.
- Taking or sending photos and videos
- Playing games
The only way that a driver may use a mobile device behind the wheel is to dial 911 or contact emergency services. Anyone pulled over and found to be texting and driving is subject to fines and a surcharge. Any driver convicted of texting and driving will have points added to their driving record. Any person acquiring a total of 11 points within 18 months may have their license suspended.
A first offense of texting and driving will result in a fine or between $50 and $200. A second offense within 18 months will result in a maximum fine of $250. Subsequent occurrences can cost up to $450 in fines. The surcharge for each violation may reach $93. A driver convicted of texting and driving will receive five points on their license.
The consequences of texting and driving for probationary or junior drivers is even more dire. A first offense results in the suspension of a driving permit or license for 120 days. A second conviction in six months after the driver’s license has been restored is a revocation of at least one year.