Young man talks on his cell phone while holding a coffee cup and driving

Is It Legal to Talk On a Cell Phone While Driving in New York?

You’ve seen it. Someone driving along the road, making mistakes, and when you look over at the driver, you see that they aren’t paying attention because they’re talking on the phone.

If you’ve done this before, don’t beat yourself up too much. Most people have checked their phones while driving at some point, even though it is extremely dangerous behavior and should always be avoided.

While it is dangerous, you may wonder if it is illegal. After all, not every danger is illegal. Read on to find out.

Using a Phone While Driving Is Illegal In New York

New York State Law prohibits the use of handheld mobile devices while driving. You may violate the law if you hold a cell phone and do any of the following:

  • Talk on the phone;
  • Compose, send, read, access, browse, transmit, save, or retrieve digital data such as an email, text message, or webpage;
  • View, capture, or transmit images; or
  • Play games.


The only exceptions for using a phone while driving include:

  • Calling 9-1-1, or
  • Contacting medical, fire, or police personnel regarding an emergency.


If you are caught using a phone while driving, you may receive a traffic citation and face a fine as well as a surcharge. In addition, you may also have points added to your DMV driving record.

If you incur 11 points over an 18-month period, you may have your driver’s license suspended.

For a first offense, the minimum penalty is a $50 fine and the maximum penalty is a $200 fine.

For a second offense within 18 months, the minimum fine is $50 and the maximum fine is $250.

For a third or subsequent offense within 18 months, the minimum fine is $50 and the maximum fine is $450.

Note: The surcharge for all offenses may be up to $93.

We’re Here to Help

If you’ve been injured in a car accident as a result of a distracted driver, we’re here to help. We’ve helped many others in similar situations and we’re ready to help you too.

Call the Ozone Park lawyers at The Cassisi Law Firm today at (718) 524-3398 to speak with an experienced attorney about your case.



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