Even Snapping While Stopped At A Red Light Can Warrant A Ticket

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — “Driving selfies” are the latest craze on social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter.

As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported Wednesday, a search for the hashtag #drivingselfie on Instagram results in an array of 3,745 pictures. There were 9,797 hits for #drivingtowork, and 728 for the optimistic hashtag #hopeidontcrash.

But experts have warned that the practice is dangerous and could even be deadly, and the public seems to agree.

“Selfies while driving? Not a good idea!” said Kenneth Mercado of the Wakefield section of the Bronx. “You’re just indulging yourself on something, that you should be focusing on the road.”

“I’ve seen it on the road. You can see them driving and doing it. It’s a little ridiculous,” said Danna Alterman of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, who added the practice “absolutely” makes her nervous.

And while the fad of taking a picture of oneself while behind the wheel may be trending, driving advocates stressed that it simply is not safe.

“Here’s something else that is taking your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, and most importantly, your mind off the task at hand,” said Robert Sinclair of AAA. “It’s usually mental distraction that is the worst.”

But it is happening more and more – people who are bored behind the wheel snapping pictures. So why do they do it?

Mercado said people simply want attention – “that’s Instagram.”

Alterman said it was likely “because they have nothing better to do.”

Suspected selfie takers may defend themselves by claiming they only snap when they are stopped at a red light, but Sinclair said even that can warrant a traffic ticket.

“The moment that vehicle rolls an inch away from a stop sign or stop light and you’re just holding the electronic device, you’re technically breaking the law,” he said.

A selfie while driving could result in a ticket just the same as texting or talking on a phone while driving, Schneider reported.

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