Most states have a law about talking on the phone while driving without a hands-free device. But what happens when a state takes this law to the next level? Many of these laws started with the noble intention of trying to keep drivers focused on the road. Following the hands-free laws, many states have adopted laws that also ban texting while driving (citing studies showing that texting while driving is the equivalent of driving while under some kind of impairment). But this New York law pushes these laws even further
Why Does New York Law Want To Ban Ipads, Laptop Computers And Hand-Held Games In Cars?
It’s already illegal for drivers in New York to use their phones without hands-free devices (they can be fined up to $150). However, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to create stiffer penalties that include the banning of any electronic device. His rationale is that the current law isn’t working and that “distracted driving is nothing less than a lethal activity for the driver themselves, other drivers on the road, and pedestrians.”
What Happens If You’re Caught Using An Electronic Device While Driving?
Cuomo is attempting to truly strike fear into those who use a phone or electronic device while driving by making these “primary offenses.” In New York a primary offense means that a police officer is able to stop a driver for using an electronic device. Currently, New York police must stop drivers for another reason (like speeding) and can ticket the driver for using an electronic device. Finally, those who are caught using an electronic device would face a 3 point penalty on their license (it is currently a 2 point penalty) and have to complete a defensive driving course. Those against this law point to the fact that the current law makes talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device a primary offense.
What do you think? Should people who use cell phones while driving face stiffer punishment?
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