Warning to All New York City Drivers
Have you noticed police officers on foot at many busy NYC intersections? NYPD is stationing newer cops at BUSY NYC intersections with the aim of writing tons of 5-point Operating Vehicles while using Electronic Device tickets. While TECHNICALLY noncommercial drivers are permitted to touch an electronic device WHILE STOPPED (at a light or in completely stopped traffic).
I am seeing newer cops targeting motorists, stopped or not, by walking up to tap on the car window and saying: why were you on your phone?
THIS IS A TRAP
It is human nature to be forthcoming, particularly with authority figures– DO NOT TRY TO BE FORTHCOMING WITH ANY COP EVER. In this scenario, if you respond, “I was checking Waze, or I just looked at it for a minute” while stopped at a red light, the cop will issue the ticket and write in the memo section: Motorist stated he was checking waze, or I just looked at it for a minute. Hey will not write anything about you stating you were stopped at a red light!
While cops are not permitted to ticket you for touching the phone IF THEY DID NOT SEE YOU
DO SO WHILE THE CAR WAS IN MOTION, newer cops have devised this method of entrapment to make it much easier for them to win in court.
If you contest your ticket in court and try to say that your car was not in motion when you checked it, guess what? That statement the cop wrote down about checking Waze or looking for a second is considered to be AN ADMISSION OF THE CHARGE to so many TVB Judges and the cop will claim every time, you were doing so while the car was in motion or they would not have ticketed you.
The Law as Stated When a Vehicle is Not In Motion
As per the New York Legislature Vehicle and Traffic Law 1225-C and 1225-D, noncommercial drivers are allowed to use a cell phone or other device while stopped at a red light, or even when in traffic, provided the vehicle is not moving at all.
Section 1225-c2a is stated below:
“Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a public highway while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion; provided, however, that no person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call 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 mobile telephone to engage in a call 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.”
If you will notice from this excerpt, it states that “a person shall not be deemed to be operating a commercial motor vehicle while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call on a public highway when such vehicle is stopped..”.
This is referring to commercial drivers only but doesn’t specify if this rule applies to noncommercial drivers; therefore, since the rule is not conveyed to noncommercial drivers, then these drivers are legally allowed to use their cell phone or another electronic device when the vehicle is physically stopped, even at a red light or in traffic.
What to Do If Approached By a Police Officer
TO KEEP FROM GETTING a 5-point ticket in this manner– EXPECT cops to be looking to ticket you at every busy intersection and:
1. NEVER TOUCH YOUR PHONE while on the road (use your Bluetooth OR JUST WAIT)
2. NEVER EVER give a statement to a COP in any circumstances, and if a cop does rap on your window, hide your phone so they cannot get a better look at it and either say NOTHING or DENY touching your phone.
EXPECT COPS pulling this ploy at all busy intersections–that is why the police are out on foot, to write a ton of these tickets and get you to make a statement that you will not be able to overcome in court.
Commercial Drivers Be Aware!
These rules are more strict for commercial drivers. This is where the police can ticket you even if your vehicle is not moving, so all you truckers, just stay off your phones at all times when you are on the road!
No driver can afford 5 points on their record.