The New York City Police Department today announced a citywide crackdown beginning Thursday at midnight (tonight) on the use of hand-held cell phones while driving, as part of its focus on traffic infractions linked to death and injury.
The NYPD reminds all New Yorkers that the use of a hand-held cell phone while driving a vehicle is illegal. In addition, driving while texting or talking on a cell phone is dangerous and endangers both drivers and pedestrians. They will be issuing summons to drivers for using either a cell phone or any PDA. (Blackberry, iPhone, etc.).
Please make your family and friends aware that the new law includes electronic devices like Blackberrys and that there is a 0% tolerance by officers in the field during the 24 hours. That means no discretion by the officer is allowed to give you a “Warning”. They will write a summons. Typically the NYPD will place Police Officers at bottleneck areas (bridge and tunnel approaches) and at intersections looking for people texting while they are stopped at a red light. (As most people do)
Individuals using hand-held cell phones while driving in New York City face a fine of $130. During 2009, the NYPD issued on average 617 summonses a day to drivers using hand-held cell phones. On October 22, 2009, 7,463 summonses were issued for this infraction during an initiative similar to the one planned for this coming Thursday.
The 24-hour initiative begins Thursday, January 21, 2010 at midnight. The NYPD encourages safe driving and asks the public to use seatbelts and to use a hands-free device for car phones.
Should you find yourself in need of driving abroad, please consider obtaining an International Driver’s Permit by visiting the International Drivers Association website for more information.