Can a Smartwatch Land You a Distracted Driving Ticket?

Posted on 
March 21, 2017
No Comments

The rising popularity of smartwatches introduces yet another device that may cause drivers to take their eyes off the road. Even if you put your cell phone away while you drive, smartwatches connect wirelessly to phones, allowing you to take calls, view texts, and get other notifications and alerts. Could you get a distracted driving ticket for using a smart watch behind the wheel?

There’s no clear answer. New York’s distracted driving law forbids drivers from using electronics, including cell phones, GPS units, and cameras. However, drivers are permitted to take phone calls while they drive if they have a hands-free connection. Likewise, drivers can listen to their phone’s GPS-guided directions if the phone is mounted or not in their hands.

The language of the law 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.” Since wearing a watch leaves both hands free, it would be hard to consider that holding the device.

Drivers in this case have the advantage of technology moving faster than the law can keep up. If you get a ticket for using a smartwatch on the road, a good lawyer could argue that glancing at an alert is no different than glancing at the time. The x-factor is how long your eyes were off the road. Looking at a photo or text is not the same as glancing at a three- to four-digit number. You might have more trouble if you are caught touching the buttons or manipulating the watch on any level. This borders more closely on “using” the device. Legally, however, it would be hard to prove usage in this case, and a skilled lawyer can help argue this point.

A ticket for distracted driving costs $150 and carries five points for a first offense. Multiple violations can lead to greater fines and even a suspended license. If you or someone you love has been ticketed for distracted driving for using a smartwatch or other electronic device behind the wheel, you need to get legal assistance right away. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law are experienced traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.

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. Required fields are marked *

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.

When Police Can Search Your Car (New York)

The news often reports stories of individuals who are stopped for a traffic violation and, following a search of the...
Read More
March 1, 2019

Cops Do Target Out-of-State Drivers (But Not For the Reason You Think)

A lot of drivers believe that cops are more likely to pull a person over if he or she has...
Read More
September 30, 2021

DWI Enforcement in Effect Through Independence Day

New York State and local law enforcement officials will be cracking down on drunk driving for six days as part...
Read More
June 29, 2017

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