NY in top 10 states for selfies while driving

Posted at 2:36 PM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 18:31:40-04

From "don't text and drive" to "don't Pokemon and drive" to "don't selfie and drive."

New York ranks in the top 10 states with drivers who post the highest number of driving selfies.

According to a report by the Auto Insurance Center, New Yorkers make 1.29 posts per 100,000 residents while driving. 

“Smartphones can provide nearly limitless entertainment, but activities like taking selfies while driving are just irresponsible,” said Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner and GTSC Acting Chair. “A quick search of social media or local news reports across the country show that taking selfies and even live streaming are things motorists actually do behind the wheel, with some doing so on a repeat basis. Whether it’s answering a short text, making a quick phone call, taking a photo, or catching Pokémon, it’s never a good idea to be distracted while driving. Keep your eyes on the road and put the phone down – it can wait!”

According to AAA, a driver's eyes may leave the road for at least two seconds to take a selfie. During this time a car traveling at 60 miles per hour can travel 176 feet, almost the length of two basketball courts. Recording a video can distract a driver for much longer.

It is illegal for drivers in New York State to use portable electronics while driving. Illegal activities include:

  • Holding a portable electronic device
  • Talking on a handheld mobile telephone
  • Composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages, or websites.
  • Viewing, taking, or transmitting images

Exceptions to the laws include:

  • When the driver uses a hands-fee mobile telephone, which allows the user to communicate without the use of either hand
  • Using a handheld electronic device that is affixed to a vehicle surface
  • Using a GPS device that is attached to the vehicle
  • When the purpose of the phone call is to communicate an emergency to a police or fire department, a hospital or physician's office, or an ambulance corps
  • When operating an authorized emergency vehicle in the performance of official duties

Probationary and junior drivers could face a 120  day suspension for a first offense, and can lose their license for one year if a second offense is committed within six months. A person caught texting and driving faces up to a $250 fine for a first offense and five points on their license.