As of October 5, 2011, the administrative penalty, or points, assessed by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles for individuals ticketed for improper use of a mobile phone or portable electronic device (i.e. smart phone) has increased to three points. This increases the likelihood that a cell phone ticket will impact your insurance rates. Additionally, the police are now permitted to pull you over if you are observed using a cell phone. Previously, an officer would only be permitted to pull you over and ticket you if he or she observed you violating an additional Vehicle and Traffic Law other than the improper use of a cell phone.
There are worthy justifications for the increased penalties. Tragedies have unfolded throughout the country from distracted driving that requires a reevaluation of phone use in cars. However, the attorneys at Smith Hoke, PLLC remain committed to assisting ticketed drivers minimize the long-term ramifications of a lesson learned. Please feel free to contact us to discuss your options.