Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from driving the vehicle - like using a cell phone, adjusting the radio, or eating, just to name a few.
According to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, it is against the law for drivers to use a handheld electronic device while the vehicle is in motion. This includes mobile phones and other portable electronic devices.
These are primary laws, meaning an officer can pull over a driver who is observed using a handheld device.
Those in violation may be fined up to $150 and three driver penalty points.
- When the driver uses a hands-free mobile telephone, which allows the user to communicate without the use of either hand.
- When the purpose of the phone call is to communicate an emergency to a police or fire department, a hospital or physician's office, or an ambulance corps.
- When operating an authorized emergency vehicle in the performance of official duties.
Want to know more about similar laws in other states? Check out the State Laws section of distraction.gov, which was created by the U.S. Transportation Department to raise awareness and provide information on distracted driving.
State Police photos from distracted driving crashes