Nassau County Home
April 27, 2001
Cell phone law on legislative agenda
Mineola, NY - A law that will regulate the use of mobile phones while operating a motor vehicle within Nassau County will come before the Nassau County Legislature on May 7.
The law, which if approved would become effective July 1, 2001, prohibits the use of a mobile telephone while operating a motor vehicle on any public street or public highway while the vehicle is in motion, unless the telephone is equipped and used with a hands-free device. Those found to be in violation of the law would be subject to a $150 fine per violation.
Presiding Officer Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) sponsor of the bill, said the law is necessary to ensure uniform enforcement throughout Long Island. Suffolk County and New York City already have laws that regulate use of mobile telephones. "It makes sense for Nassau to adopt this legislation since the county is contiguous to areas that are already enforcing the law. By adopting the law in Nassau we are ensuring there is continuity in enforcement. It really is just common sense," she said.
According to the law, "Use" shall be talking, listening, or dialing on a mobile telephone, unless using a hands'free device, which is defined as an attachment, add-on, or addition to a mobile telephone (cellular, analog, wireless and digital) that allows a driver to maintain both hands on the steering device.
Exceptions to the law include authorized emergency vehicles, including ambulances, police vehicles or bicycle correction vehicles, fire vehicles, civil defense emergency vehicles, emergency ambulance service vehicles, environmental emergency response vehicles, sanitation patrol vehicles, hazardous materials emergency vehicles and ordinance disposal vehicles of the armed forces of the United States, and individuals making emergency telephone calls. Those individuals would be required to produce documentary evidence that the phone call was made for the sole purpose of contacting a 911 emergency number; a hospital; an ambulance company or corp; a fire department, fire district or fire company; a health clinic; a medical doctor's office; a first aid squad; or a police department.
The law would be enforced anywhere in Nassau County by any authorized Police Department or force of a town or village.
The Nassau County Legislature will meet to consider the law on May 7, at 2:30 p.m. in the legislative auditorium at 1 West Street in Mineola.