STATE OF NEW YORK
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
May 14, 2019
Introduced by Sen. LIU -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation -- commit-
tee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recom-
mitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to prohibiting
a pedestrian from using a portable electronic device while crossing a
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new
2 section 1158 to read as follows:
3 § 1158. Use of portable electronic devices. (a) No pedestrian shall
4 cross a roadway at any point while using any portable electronic device.
5 (b) For purposes of this section: 1. "Portable electronic device"
6 shall mean any handheld mobile telephone, as defined by subdivision one
7 of section twelve hundred twenty-five-c of this title, personal digital
8 assistant (PDA), handheld device with mobile data access, laptop comput-
9 er, pager, broadband personal communication device, two-way messaging
10 device, electronic game, or portable computing device, or any other
11 electronic device when used to input, write, send, receive, or read text
12 for present or future communication.
13 2. "Using" shall mean holding a portable electronic device while view-
14 ing, taking or transmitting images, playing games, or, for the purpose
15 of present or future communication: performing a command or request to
16 access a world wide web page, composing, sending, reading, viewing,
17 accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving or retrieving e-mail, text
18 messages, instant messages, or other electronic data.
19 (c) Subdivision (a) of this section shall not apply to: 1. the use of
20 a portable electronic device for the sole purpose of communicating with
21 any of the following regarding an emergency situation: an emergency
22 response operator; a hospital; a physician's office or health clinic; an
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
S. 5746--A 2
1 ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or company; or a
2 police department; and
3 2. any of the following persons while in the performance of their
4 official duties: a police officer or peace officer; a member of a fire
5 department, district or company; or the operator of an authorized emer-
6 gency vehicle as defined in section one hundred one of this chapter.
7 (d) A violation of this section shall be punishable by a fine of twen-
8 ty-five dollars upon conviction of a first violation; upon conviction of
9 a second or subsequent violation, both of which were committed within a
10 period of eighteen months, such violations shall be punished by a fine
11 of fifty dollars.
12 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.