NYS Senate Proposes to Fine People for Texting While Crossing the Street

Posted on 
May 21, 2019
No Comments

The State Senate recently introduced a new bill that would make it illegal for people to cross streets in the state while staring at their smartphone. Despite the lack of evidence that personal electronic devices used on the streets cause traffic accidents, state lawmakers want to outlaw the use of messaging or gaming apps in crosswalks. The fines could range from $25 to $250 depending on the number of offenses.

“This is a bill that says don't text while crossing the street, wait the 10 seconds to get to the other side,” Queens Senator John Liu said.

A similar bill was proposed in the Assembly in 2018 but did not make it out of committee.

The new bill would define a whole new traffic law—VTL 1158—which would fine individuals between $25 and $50 for a first offense of crossing the street while using a portable electronic device. It bumps up the fine to between $50 and $100 for a second offense in 18 months and between $50 and $250 for a third and subsequent offense.

As it stands, the bill includes exceptions for police officers, firefighters, emergency personnel and medical professionals.

The proposed law references VTL 1122(d), the violation used to fine drivers for texting while driving, in defining what is considered a “portable electronic device.” It also explicitly defines “using” as “holding a portable electronic device while viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or, for the purpose of present or future communication: performing a command or request to access a worldwide web page, composing, sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text messages, instant messages, or other electronic data.”

So far, the bill has yet to receive a vote and there is no way to know if it will make it through the Assembly.


Author Bio

Adam H. Rosenblum

Founding Attorney Of Rosenblum Law

Adam H. Rosenblum is an experienced and skilled traffic violations and criminal defense attorney. Mr. Rosenblum provides expert and aggressive representation to those facing points on their drivers’ licenses and the associated fines and surcharges.

Read Full Bio

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Free Consultation

Call us now for a quick, free, and no obligation colustion with one of our attorneys.

Featured Experts

Kent Ng

NYPD (Ret.)
Read More

Mike Gheller

NYPD Officer
Read More

Travis Hall

NY State Police
Read More

Related Articles

Learn more about traffic tickets and criminal matters in New York and New Jersey.

NJ Increases Cell Phone Ticket Fines, Adds Points

Listen up, New Jersey drivers! As of July 1, 2014 cell phone tickets in NJ officially carry a $200 minimum...
Read More
July 28, 2014

Dash Cam Saves Brooklyn Driver From Unjustified Cell Phone Ticket

A Brooklyn driver who was simply rubbing his ear was pulled over by a New York police officer and ticketed...
Read More
September 17, 2014

New Radar Detects Texting While Driving

Police radar guns are used to detect speeding, but what if they could also sniff out texters? A Virginia company...
Read More
October 13, 2014

We've Fought Over 50,000 Traffic Ticket Cases

Call us now for a quick, free, and no-obligation consultation.
chevron-down Call Now ButtonFree Consult Call Now linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram