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Handheld Cell Phone Usage in NY

With the vast majority of Americans owning a cell phone, laws limiting handheld cell phone usage while driving have become increasingly the status quo from state to state. Unfortunately, not all drivers take the time to become educated with the ever changing laws. Because these laws are governed state to state, and because of the ease of travel across state lines, it's important to stay up to date with the rules of communication and transportation. 

Questions such as these should be considered:

  • Can I talk on my phone while driving?
  • Can I text while driving?
  • Do I have to incorporate a handsfree device, such as headphones or a bluetooth headset, to operate within the law?
  • What if I'm only texting while at a stoplight?
  • What if I keep the phone in my hand, but use speakerphone?
  • What if I'm looking at my phone's GPS while driving? Can I be arrested?
  • If I'm in an accident while texting, am I liable?

Each State is Different

Not only do state laws govern individual driver's rights regarding cell phone usage while driving, but specific legal regulations come into play when dealing with learner or intermediate drivers, as well as school bus drivers. Additionally, different states have different rules regarding making phone calls and sending text messages while driving.

Here are several examples of the differences in state laws:

  • 14 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. All are primary enforcement laws which means an officer may cite a driver for using a hand-held cell phone without any other traffic offense taking place.
  • 38 states and Washington D.C. ban all cell phone use by novice drivers.
  • 20 states and Washington D.C. prohibit use by school bus drivers.
  • Currently, 44 states ban text messaging by all drivers.

Contact Us Today

If you have questions about New York cell phone laws or have been pulled over and ticketed for a cell phone violation, we can help. Contact Us as the office of Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C. online or call 716-652-0828 for experienced, ethical, understanding and responsive assistance with all your legal needs in the greater Buffalo, NY area.

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Hall, Ricketts, Schuller & Gurbacki, P.C.
471 Main Street
East Aurora, NY 14052

Phone: 716-243-3515
Fax: 716-652-2058
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