So you are sitting at a horrifically long red light, stopped. Can you reach for your cell phone to check to see if you have a text or check your email? You're stopped, so it's not illegal, right?

Come on, Is it legal to use my cell phone at a red light?

Angry woman annoyed by not working smartphone, problem with mobile
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Well, no. At least that is what the cop will tell you who might pull you over to give you a ticket.

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the following are all considered illegal, when you are behind the wheel of a car, while it is in motion (which includes being at a red light).

What Does the NYS DMV Have to say about cell phones at red lights being illegal?  All of this actually:

Texting sms while driving
  • talking on a handheld mobile telephone
  • composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages, or webpages
  • viewing, taking, or transmitting images
  • playing games

When is it legal to use your cell phone while driving in New York State?

Cell Phone Driving
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If you are driving, the only time you are legally allowed to use your phone is when you are calling 9-1-1, to report an emergency.

What happens if you do and you get pulled over? You will get a ticket for a moving violation. Yes, there will be a fine and you might have to appear (not sure if court dates are being held in person right now because of the pandemic), but what could be more tough to deal with than the ticket and the fees? The fact that you could get points on your license, that might be tougher to deal with than the money you will more than likely be paying. If you get 11 points in a period of 18 months, your driver's license could be suspended.

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