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New York Drivers: Put Down the Cell Phone or Pick Up Two Points

New York drivers should be aware of new license penalties for driving while using a handheld cellphone. As of February 16, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles plans to begin assessing two points to any motorist’s license if the driver is ticketed for distracted driving while using a cell phone. New York drivers who text while driving already face the two-point penalty. The New York DMV’s decision to also penalize those who make cell phone calls while driving is an effort to bring the laws on distracted driving for texting and making or receiving calls on cell phones into line.

In December 2010, the DMV filed a notice of the rule change and justified its decision to add points to drivers’ licenses for using handheld devices because of the numerous motor vehicle accidents that are caused each year by distracted driving. The proposed rule is scheduled to go into effect 45 days after filing: February 16, 2011.

What is the cost to a New York driver? If you are caught making or receiving calls on your cell phone or texting, you will be ticketed for distracted driving. The ticket comes with a $100 fine and the two points added to your driving record. If you accumulate too many points on your driving record, you risk losing your license to drive in New York State. Some auto insurance experts predict that a distracted driving ticket could drive up your auto insurance rates by up to 20 percent.

Stay safe and put down your cell phone while driving. If you are ticketed for distracted driving, you should contact an experienced traffic ticket defense lawyer in New York.

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