Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Apple released its iPhone 4S in October 2011, touting it as “the most amazing iPhone yet.” One of the selling points for the new phone is the Siri software on the device that allows users to give the phone voice commands for making calls, sending text messages and setting events on calendars. The new iPhone might help drivers get around New York’s laws banning texting and driving and avoid a traffic violation citation, but many see problems with using the voice command software that could lead to danger.

Phone Operation Laws in New York

New York legislators outlawed operating a cell phone while driving in 2001. Lawmakers added a texting ban in November 2009. However, the law only applies to “manual communication” with a phone; drivers cannot use their hands to operate their phones while driving, but may do so with hands-free technology such as headsets or Bluetooth devices.

Problems Remain

Drivers who wish to send text messages with Siri while driving may still be distracted drivers – which is what New York’s laws about operating cell phones while driving aims to prohibit. People need to push buttons to activate the software before they are able to give voice commands. If New York drivers do that while driving they are violating the law.

Furthermore, many want to read the text messages they compose orally before they send them because, like any other voice-to-text software, Siri is not fool-proof and will make typos. When drivers take their eyes off the road to read a text before sending it, they are distracted and risk getting into a motor vehicle accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advocates drivers putting away their phones totally while driving – whether or not the phones have hands-free technology. Spokespeople for the NHTSA argue that anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road is a distraction that could lead to an accident, even if the driver’s hands remain on the wheel.

Traffic violations such as driving and texting may not seem very important, but New York authorities take them very seriously and will issue citations for such behavior. These tickets can cause a driver a lot of money in the long run. If you have a traffic violation citation, consult an experienced attorney who can help you fight it.

Drivers should still be wary of using their phone while driving, even though the iPhone 4S offers a new Voice to Text feature. This article is brought to you by Larkin Ingrassia, PLLC.

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