The Kessler Law Firm

Can You Get A Ticket For Using Your Cell Phone While Not Talking?

In short, the answer is yes. We have seen many motorists try to use the excuse at their hearing that they were using their phones, however, they were using their gps or changing music, etc. They think the only cell phone infraction is for talking on their cell phone. They are very surprised and upset to learn that there is a Use of Portable Electronic Device While In Motion infraction within the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law. Section 1225(d)1 of the VTL states: 

Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion.  


In order to be found guilty, a police officer must prove at trial that a motorist was holding a portable electronic device (cell phone, iPad, gps, etc.) while the vehicle was in motion.  Further, the officer must prove that the motorist was “using” the device in some way.  That is, it’s not enough to just be holding the device.  The motorist must actually be viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, performing a command or requesting to access a web page, texting, etc.  Lastly the vehicle must be in motion at the time of the observation.  


As stated in the VTL: a violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars upon conviction of a first violation.  A violation of 1225 (d)1 also carries five points.  If you have been charged with this infraction, never hesitate to call the The Kessler Law Firm.