Driving While Yakking Laws In NY Have No Impact On Driving While Yakking

from the not-so-useful-then dept

Every time I’ve been to New York since the “no driving while yakking” law was passed, I’ve noticed just as many people talking away on their mobile phones while driving as I see in California – where no such law exists (yet). The last time I was in New York, I even broke the law (briefly!) myself when I was trying to coordinate picking up a friend at the airport and we had no other means of communicating (though, much to the anger of my friend, I didn’t pick up my phone the first two times she called as there was a police car driving right next to me…). However, it appears I shouldn’t have worried so much. Police aren’t ticketing many people for driving while yakking, and most people are ignoring the law. The number of people who drive and talk on a mobile phone is about the same as it was before the law went into effect. There was a dip when the law first started – thanks to plenty of publicity. But, with lax enforcement, most people think it’s worth the risk to drive and talk away.

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Comments on “Driving While Yakking Laws In NY Have No Impact On Driving While Yakking”

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Beck says:

Stupid Law

You can still use headsets and hands-free devices, so the ban isn’t on talking on the phone, it’s on holding the phone in your hand while talking. Since that’s the case, why isn’t it illegal to drive while holding anything in your hand? Why is it OK to drive with a cheeseburger in your hand, but not a phone? You can hold a cheeseburger while you talk on your hands-free phone, but you can’t hold the phone.

Average American Driver says:


blah, blah, blah … so what if I talk on my phone ? I also put on my make-up, eat sloppy McDonald’s food & smoke & lug along my super duper barrel sized blubber Big Gulp while fiddling with the DVD player so the kids can watch the latest ” instant classic ” from Disney and occasionally I can be found crawling into the backseat to beat one of them .. all at around 65 miles an hour.
Why should my phone be singled out ?

LittleW0lf says:

Re: Multi-Crashing

I’ve noticed just as many people talking away on their mobile phones while driving as I see in California – where no such law exists (yet).

Why should my phone be singled out ?

Mike and Average, believe it or not, there is already a law that covers this…called “Reckless Driving.” At least in California, doing anything that willfully or wantonly endangers yourself or other drivers on the road is against the law (CAL VC 23103). Of course, unlike a traffic infraction (speeding, parking in red zone, etc,) it is a misdemeanor, and punishable by 90 days in jail and/or $1000 fine.

Now, as to whether it is enforced (very few are these days, just not enough cops,) that is another issue, though I think a cell phone ban would have the same affect.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Multi-Crashing

Your point is very well made … Reckless driving laws ( to my knowledge ) are already in place in most every state. I would imagine that this law should already cover cell phone usage.
My post was to point out that ANYTHING done that distracts you from actually drving is illegal and enough existing laws are in place.
I’ve driven past many a driver that is a responsible cell phone user while driving, as well as a few that I wanted to cram their cell phones down their throat.

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