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New York Vehicle & Traffic - Article 33 - § 1225-D Use of Portable Electronic Devices

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Vehicle and Traffic
 
    §  1225-d. Use of portable electronic devices.  1. Except as otherwise
  provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle  while
  using  any  portable  electronic device while such vehicle is in motion;
  provided, however, that no  person  shall  operate  a  commercial  motor
  vehicle  while  using any portable electronic device on a public highway
  including while temporarily stationary because  of  traffic,  a  traffic
  control  device,  or other momentary delays.  Provided further, however,
  that a person shall not be deemed to be  operating  a  commercial  motor
  vehicle  while  using  a  portable electronic device on a public highway
  when such vehicle is stopped at the side of, or off, a public highway in
  a location where such vehicle is not otherwise prohibited from  stopping
  by  law,  rule,  regulation or any lawful order or direction of a police
  officer.
    1-a. No motor carrier shall allow or require  its  drivers  to  use  a
  portable electronic device while operating a commercial motor vehicle as
  provided in this section.
    2.  For  the  purposes of this section, the following terms shall have
  the following meanings:
    (a) "Portable electronic  device"  shall  mean  any  hand-held  mobile
  telephone,  as  defined  by  subdivision  one  of section twelve hundred
  twenty-five-c  of  this  article,  personal  digital  assistant   (PDA),
  handheld  device  with  mobile  data  access,  laptop  computer,  pager,
  broadband  personal  communication  device,  two-way  messaging  device,
  electronic  game,  or portable computing device, or any other electronic
  device when used to input,  write,  send,  receive,  or  read  text  for
  present or future communication.
    (b)  "Using"  shall  mean  holding  a portable electronic device while
  viewing, taking or transmitting  images,  playing  games,  or,  for  the
  purpose  of  present  or  future  communication: performing a command or
  request to access a world wide web page,  composing,  sending,  reading,
  viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail,
  text messages, instant messages, or other electronic data.
    (c)  "Commercial  motor  vehicle"  shall have the same meaning as such
  term  is  defined  by  subdivision  four-a  of  section   two   of   the
  transportation law.
    (d)  "Motor  carrier"  shall  have  the  same  meaning as such term is
  defined by subdivision seventeen of section two  of  the  transportation
  law.
    3. Subdivision one of this section shall not apply to (a) the use of a
  portable  electronic  device  for the sole purpose of communicating with
  any of the following regarding  an  emergency  situation:  an  emergency
  response operator; a hospital; a physician's office or health clinic; an
  ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or company; or a
  police  department,  (b)  any  of  the  following  persons  while in the
  performance of their official duties: a police officer or peace officer;
  a member of a fire department, district or company; or the  operator  of
  an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in section one hundred one of
  this chapter.
    4.  A  person  who holds a portable electronic device in a conspicuous
  manner while operating a motor vehicle or while operating  a  commercial
  motor vehicle on a public highway including while temporarily stationary
  because  of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays
  but not including when such commercial motor vehicle is stopped  at  the
  side  of,  or  off, a public highway in a location where such vehicle is
  not otherwise prohibited from stopping by law, rule, regulation  or  any
  lawful  order  or  direction of a police officer is presumed to be using
  such device, except that a person operating a commercial  motor  vehicle
  while using a portable electronic device when such vehicle is stopped at

  the  side  of, or off, a public highway in a location where such vehicle
  is not otherwise prohibited from stopping by law,  rule,  regulation  or
  any  lawful order or direction of a police officer shall not be presumed
  to be using such device. The presumption established by this subdivision
  is  rebuttable  by  evidence  tending  to show that the operator was not
  using the device within the meaning of this section.
    5.  The  provisions  of  this  section  shall  not  be  construed   as
  authorizing  the  seizure or forfeiture of a portable electronic device,
  unless otherwise provided by law.
    6. A violation of this section shall be a traffic infraction and shall
  be punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one
  hundred fifty  dollars  upon  conviction  of  a  first  violation;  upon
  conviction  of a second violation, both of which were committed within a
  period of eighteen months, such violation shall be punished by a fine of
  not less than fifty dollars nor more  than  two  hundred  dollars;  upon
  conviction  of  a  third  or  subsequent  violation,  all  of which were
  committed within a period of eighteen months, such  violation  shall  be
  punished  by  a  fine  of not less than fifty dollars nor more than four
  hundred dollars.
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Last modified: February 16, 2014