Park Slope leads the city in tickets issued to bicyclists who ride while using their cell phone – the problem is that there are no laws on the books that state bicyclists cannot use their cell phones. At a recent City Council hearing, a spokeswoman for the NYPD legal bureau argued that New York City’s cell phone ban applied to cyclists as well, even though the law clearly states that the operators of “motor vehicles” are banned from using cell phones while driving.
Even if the law is amended to include bicycles in the cell phone ban, bike riders would not be subject to the same penalties as drivers. A traffic ticket for using a cell phone while driving carries a hefty fine, but more importantly, it carries a penalty of 5 points on one’s driver’s license – the points are a huge motivation for drivers to put down their cell phones, as 5 points may increase their insurance premiums and will put them well on their way to a license suspension, which occurs at 11 points. Points cannot be added to a driver’s license for offenses committed while outside of a motor vehicle, so bike riders who text – just like jaywalkers – would not receive any points on their license.
If you receive a traffic ticket for using a cell phone while driving, or if you receive any other traffic tickets, please contact us at 212-227-9008 to see how we may help you.