Cell Phone Safety

Cell Phone Safety

Effective July 1, 2014, the fines for talking or texting on a hand-held wireless communications device increased. First time offenders will face a fine of at least $200. The fine associated with a second offense will increase to at least $400 and drivers who are caught a third time will face a fine of at least $600, a possible 90-day suspension of their driver’s license and will be assessed (3) three motor vehicle penalty points.

Although it is discouraged, drivers may use a hands-free device if it does not interfere with standard safety equipment. “Use” of a wireless phone and any other hand-held communication device includes, but is not limited to:

  • Talking to or listening to another person – even if you are using speakerphone – while holding the phone in your hand;
  • Texting;
  • Sending and receiving electronic messages, such as emails – even if you are “just” reading a message – while holding the phone in your hand;
  • Holding your phone while using it as a GPS.

A hand-held phone may be used for an emergency only and the driver must keep one hand on the wheel at all times.  If you are stopped by an officer, you must be able to show that your call was used to contact emergency services (i.e. show that you dialed 9-1-1).

It is important to understand that you are in violation of the law if you are holding your phone or other device while the car is in gear – this includes stopped at a red light or stop sign.  If you pull to the side of the road pull into a parking lot to use your phone, you MUST put your car in park, or you could still get a ticket!

Cell Phone Safety Tips:

  1. Turn your phone off or put ring on silent to avoid the urge to answer.
  2. Put your phone in a secure location that is easy to reach, in case of emergency.
  3. Never dial while driving, move to a safe area off of the road.
  4. Prior to driving, store important contact information in your phone.
  5. Use a hands-free unit so that both of your hands are on the steering wheel at all times.
  6. Become familiar with your phone’s speed dialing and voice-activation features to minimize dialing.
  7. Prior to driving, set up your voice-mail to take messages.
The Law Offices of James A. Abate LLC

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