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Gov. Cuomo's proposal would prohibit cellphone use while vehicle not in motion

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 18:43:07-05

Sending a quick snapchat video or a text message at a red light may soon not be allowed if Governor Andrew Cuomo's new proposal gets passed.

"I've used my phone at a red light," said Alex Ille. "Although I try to avoid it I believe it causes distractions because even though you're not driving other people are driving around you."

D'Youville College student Alex Ille may soon have no choice but completely avoid the habit of using his phone at a red light. He's not the only one checking notifications behind the wheel.

"At a stop light? I have... depending on what the tone was," said Denise Ireland. "Life if my girls' school calls... but it's just to check."

"Yes," said Joe Nowak, who agrees the proposal should be passed. "But it's something that if it's against the law, you're going to have to make other options available."

It's what AAA calls distracted driving. The organization says drivers can be distracted for an average of 27 seconds, even after putting down their phones.

"Any distraction, even just a split second could make a big difference," said Kerry Donnely, assistant manager of driving training for AAA. "Your mind is involved with the conversation via text or the phone that you're having, not with your surroundings, not with your driving."

Right now, the DMV says it's illegal to: talk on the phone, read or send a text, view or send photos, and play games while you're driving, but not while you're stopped.

"To me I think it's very dangerous, even people walking by at a red light," said Leticia Magana. "And if you're not fully alert, you can hurt a person walking."

Cuomo's proposal is also prohibiting the use of any electronic device by drivers under 18.

This was part of Cuomo's State of the State book.