News

New Yorkers: Close Loophole For Texting At Red Lights

Some Say It Creates Distraction For Drivers

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Texting while driving is against the law in New York state, but texting while sitting at a red light or stopped in traffic is not. Some people are calling that a loophole that needs to be closed, CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian reported.

The state’s vehicle and traffic law says “no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion.”

Robert Sinclair Jr., a spokesman for the travel group AAA, said using a cellphone at a red light or using hands-free devices while driving still creates a distraction for drivers, which could potentially lead to accidents.

“You might be tempted to continue to engage in activity when that traffic light goes green,” Sinclair said.

Sinclair said AAA will look into lobbying state lawmakers to ban all cellphone use by drivers, whether moving or not.

Dardashtian had a hard time finding anyone who doesn’t think the law should be stricter.

“I think that’s really stupid,” said Rosalie Bernstein, of Queens. “Because that means you’re not paying attention.”

Texting while driving “absolutely should never be allowed, stopping or moving,” said Marie Viola, of Manhattan.

“I am sometimes guilty (of texting) as well stopped at a red light … ,” added Ellen Altman, of Roslyn, Long Island. “But I think it should be a law that there should be no texting while the car is on.”

The law is different for commercial drivers. They are not allowed to use electronic devices even while stopped.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories