Texting while driving can have deadly consequences. Texting at the wheel can distract you, so you are much more likely to be involved in an accident. You hear the familiar beep informing you of an incoming SMS, and you just cannot resist reading and responding to it. This is a formula for disaster.
Texting while driving involves composing, sending or reading a text message through a hand held phone while driving a motor vehicle. Operating your cell phone while driving can impair your ability to operate the vehicle, so you are distracted behind the wheel. Many people feel that texting while driving is no different than drinking while driving.
Numerous states have passed laws banning the practice of texting while driving. Thirty-nine states have laws forbidding texting while driving. Five additional states have laws banning texting for beginning drivers. Texting at the wheel in the state of Georgia can result in a $150 fine and a point on your driver’s license. Alabama, Arkansas, California and New York are a few of the other states that prohibit texting while driving.
In most states that have laws against texting while driving, a police officer can pull you over if he sees you operating your cell phone at the wheel. In a few other states, a police officer cannot pull you over for texting unless he has first stopped you for another violation. Punishment for texting while driving differs among states. You could be required to pay a fine of up to $500, or you could even face criminal charges if someone has been hurt or killed because of your carelessness. You could also be required to attend road safety classes, or your license could be suspended. If you are a repeat offender, the consequences are harsher.
Unfortunately, more than 5,000 people are killed each year because of distracted drivers. If you are sending a SMS while driving and someone is killed, you could face stiff penalties. For example, a teen in Massachusetts was convicted of vehicular homicide because while he was texting, his vehicle crossed the center line and hit another vehicle. One person was killed, and another was seriously injured. He was sentenced to one year in prison; however, this teen must live with the guilt for the rest of his life.
Distracted driver is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents in the country. Sending an SMS message to one of your friends while driving can distract you significantly, so you are not able to concentrate on the road and other drivers. If you feel you have receiving a message that cannot wait, find a safe place on the side of the road and pull over. You can then send a message without having to focus on the road. Another thing you can do to avoid the temptation that comes with receiving a text is to put your phone in the glove compartment or turn it to silent mode. If you are driving a long distance, make all the calls that are needed before you leave. You can then operate a motor vehicle without the distraction that comes with texting.
This article is provided by David Michael Cantor of the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor. David is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization and has handled DUI cases for over 25 years. For more information please see his website: http://cantorduilawyers.com
Cell Phone Tickets in New York State
If you are charged with VTL 1225-c Use of Mobile Telephone or VTL 1225-d Use of Portable Electronic Devices (includes texting while driving) in New York State make sure to contact Adam H. Rosenblum at 1-888-883-5529. Adam is also the author of the book How To Fight A NY Cell Phone Ticket, for sale on Amazon.com or available for free on Facebook.
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