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Q

I got a ticket for using a hand held cell phone in New York. I was wondering if they will reduce it if i bought a hands- free device for my phone?


A

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia have special cell phone restrictions for novice drivers. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia have enacted state wide bans on driving while talking on handheld cell phones. California has passed a similar law that will go into affect in July, 2008.

Many states ban cell phone use in specific situations. Some states such as Ohio, Michigan and New Mexico allow individual cities or county jurisdictions to enact cell phone bans.

Some states, such as Utah and New Hampshire, treat cell phone use as a larger distracted driving issue. DeKalb County, Georgia has begun sanctioning drivers for improper usage of a mobile phone in situations where they decide it was a contributing factor in a collision causing death, injury or damage.

New York state law does not allow you to use a hand-held cell phone or mobile device while you drive. In 2001, New York became the first state to prohibit drivers from talking on hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle. You may use a hand-held cell phone or mobile device only when you call 911 or contact medical, fire or police help in an emergency.

You can be cited by law enforcement for using a hand-held cell phone or mobile device while driving in NYS, and will be required to pay a maximum fine of $100 and mandatory surcharges of $50.

If you receive a ticket for this violation, it is not considered a probationary license violation and the DMV does not assign any violation points to the driver's record.

From the information we found until February 2002, New York state violators had their tickets dismissed if they gave the judge a receipt showing they bought a hands-free cell phone system.

It may be that a judge in the county you were ticketed in may still allow a reduction or a dismissal of the ticket if you show proof of acquiring a hands free cell phone device. To find out if this is possible you would need to call the clerk of court listed on your citation and request information on the penalty for your ticket and if buying a hands free device could help your case.

For a quote on New York State auto insurance click here.


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