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Checking your phone at a red light may soon be illegal

We all know that using your phone while driving is against the law. But what about when your car is stopped? As of now, the law says that drivers are not allowed to use their phones while the car is in motion. However, there is a debate over what is considered to be "in motion." Many people claim that your vehicle is not in motion when you are stopped at a stop sign or light and therefore, it is legal to check your phone at that time.

This loophole may be closing soon. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to ban electronic devices even if the car is not technically moving. Some officers agree with Cuomo saying that many traffic delays occur because of drivers looking down at their phones while stopped. This failure to pay attention to the road can be dangerous, even at a stop light, due to the disruption of traffic flow. As a result, every year, hundreds of people are involved in distracted driving car accidents.

Cuomo's proposal states that hands-free devices must be used at all times, even in stop-and-go traffic or at a stop sign. This legislation does allow non-hands free electronic usage if a driver pulls off to the side of the road or gets off the road altogether.

In addition to this new legislation, Cuomo may also propose banning drivers under the age of 18 from using electronic devices. Breaking any sort of hands-free regulation may result in a fine and other consequences. These safety precautions may not be popular with drivers, but they may be able to save countless lives.

Source: My Champlain Valley, "New York 'Gray Area' in Distracted Driving Laws Hits Governor Cuomo's Radar," Terry Palmer, Jan. 19, 2017

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
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Phone: 347-286-1937
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