Answers from a Monticello Traffic Ticket Lawyer: When Is Distracted Driving Unlawful?
- February 28, 2018
- Scott Russell
- Comments Off on Answers from a Monticello Traffic Ticket Lawyer: When Is Distracted Driving Unlawful?
There are over 1,000 people injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers each day in the United States. Every day approximately nine people are killed. This is a higher number of accidents and accident-related injuries than caused by drowsy drivers, excessive speeding, or driving under the influence. Distracted driving is actually the leading reason for car accidents in the United States. As a Monticello traffic ticket lawyer and personal injury lawyer, I encounter several cases each year precipitated by an inattentive or distracted driver.
However, even if your distracted driving doesn’t cause an accident, it could lead to problems with Monticello or New York State law enforcement. Distracted driving involves everything from children fighting in the backseat to texting while you drive. Food, makeup, day planners, other passengers, GPS, and events back at the office all distract you from the road. Which of these distractions could lead to a traffic ticket and require a Monticello traffic ticket lawyer? Read on.
New York’s Fight Against Cell Phones
In the past 20 years, the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers in New York has risen significantly. Lawmakers and drivers themselves point to a single source – texting while driving. Estimates are one in four car accidents in the United States are caused by the driver texting behind the wheel. That’s almost 330,000 injuries and a total 1.6 million accidents each year. The cities and towns of New York aren’t immune to this issue, and across the state, the increase in collisions from texting has caused concern.
The early statistics on texting while driving encouraged the New York legislature to be one of the first states to regulate cell phone use by drivers. New York’s first ban on texting and driving was passed in 2001. In the 17 years since the restrictions have become finite and robust.
Today in Monticello, a driver can be stopped by the police and fined up to $200 for texting behind the wheel. In addition to this $200, New York imposes mandatory surcharges and fees. Often, these fees total more than $85. A subsequent cell phone ticket can impose fines of $250 or more. Simply using a cell phone, for a purpose other than texting will lead to an $85 fine, and New York also has a similar restriction against the use of other portable and handheld devices, such as the use of a tablet or GPS while driving.
While the fine for use of your cell phone is steep, what is more worrisome for many drivers is that New York’s cell phone law and similar law against the use of other portable devices imposes five points against your New York driver’s license. Such penalties should encourage many people to hire a Monticello traffic ticket lawyer and fight for a reduced charge or ticket.
Monticello Traffic Tickets for Other Distracted Driving
While the use of cell phones and portable devices lead to the most Monticello traffic tickets for distracted driving, law enforcement has means to penalize driving with other distractions, as well. There aren’t any laws in Monticello that make it unlawful to have a heated conversation or eat your breakfast while you drive, but these distractions could lead to a traffic ticket all the same.
Drivers distracted by passengers or even events taking place outside the vehicle, for example, a conversation that happened earlier at work, are far more likely to commit moving violations or drive recklessly. Across New York, a driver can be ticketed and fined for reckless driving, such as swerving, excessive speed, or failure to stop at a crosswalk or intersection. The standard for reckless driving is more than mere negligence but can include any driving behavior that unreasonably interferes or endangers other people on the road.
A reckless driving offense in New York isn’t a minor occurrence. The minimum fine for a first offense is $300, while a second offense can lead to fines up to $525. In addition, reckless driving can result in significant increases in your insurance costs and adds points against your driver’s license. It is also a crime.
Fighting Tickets from Distracted Driving
Whether you receive a ticket for cell phone use or are charged with reckless driving, a Monticello traffic ticket lawyer can help with your case. It is worthwhile for individuals to fight moving violations and other traffic tickets because a reduced charge means a lower fine, less impact on your insurance costs, and fewer points against your New York license.
To work with a top Monticello traffic lawyer, contact Scott Russell Law located right in Sullivan County. Our office is always available by calling (845)-741-3331.