1. Except as otherwise
provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle while
using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion.
2. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have
the following meanings:
(a) "Portable electronic device" shall mean any hand-held mobile
telephone, as defined by subdivision one of section twelve hundred
twenty-five-c of this article, personal digital assistant (PDA),
handheld device with mobile data access, laptop computer, pager,
broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging device,
electronic game, or portable computing device.
(b) "Using" shall mean holding a portable electronic device while
viewing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or composing,
sending, reading, viewing, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or
retrieving e-mail, text messages, or other electronic data.
3. Subdivision one of this section shall not apply to (a) the use of a
portable electronic device for the sole purpose of communicating with
any of the following regarding an emergency situation: an emergency
response operator; a hospital; a physician's office or health clinic; an
ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or company; or a
police department, (b) any of the following persons while in the
performance of their official duties: a police officer or peace officer;
a member of a fire department, district or company; or the operator of
an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in section one hundred one of
4. A person who holds a portable electronic device in a conspicuous
manner while operating a motor vehicle is presumed to be using such
device. The presumption established by this subdivision is rebuttable by
evidence showing that the operator was not using the device within the
meaning of this section.
5. The provisions of this section shall not be construed as
authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a portable electronic device,
unless otherwise provided by law.
6. A violation of this section shall be a traffic infraction and shall
be punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred fifty dollars.
Provided, however, that a summons for operating a motor vehicle in
violation of this section shall only be issued when there is reasonable
cause to believe that the person operating such motor vehicle has
committed a violation of the laws of this state other than a violation
of this section.
* NB Effective November 1, 2009