Motorists and commercial drivers have some updated cell phone and texting regulations to consider when out on the road. There are some new restrictions for drivers that go in effect today.
The state continues to outline the existing law when it comes to texting and talking on the phone while driving. Safety is the main priority here.
Starting today, drivers are not allowed to make phone calls or send texts while stopped in traffic. This includes drivers of commercial vehicles, so if there is road construction and you are temporarily stopped on the road, under the law you cannot hold a mobile phone. It must be hands-free.
Using a phone is defined under the law as holding a cell phone to or in the immediate proximity of the user's ear. Under the new law, a driver can't press more than one button to dial or answer a phone call. This means drivers can only use hands-free mobile devices and the phone must have an internal feature or function or attachment to use, like a Bluetooth.
The state's new laws are consistent with existing federal guidelines. It’s the latest in a series of moves made by the state to combat distracted driving. This summer the state rolled out the penalty for violations of the cell phone law including five driver penalty points and a fine of up to $150.
For a list of the new restrictions, go to SafeNY for all the details.