Can you legally look at your navigation system while you are driving in New York State? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. According to traffic laws, using a handheld device while driving in the state is illegal. Here's where it gets tricky. If you are using a navigation system, like Google Maps or Waze, and it's on your phone, you could be breaking the law.
According to New York State law,
You cannot use a hand-held mobile telephone or portable electronic device while you drive. Illegal activity includes,
holding a portable electronic device and.
-talking on a handheld mobile telephone
-composing, sending, reading, accessing, browsing, transmitting, saving, or retrieving electronic data such as e-mail, text messages, or webpages
-viewing, taking, or transmitting images
So in short, you are in fact breaking the law if you are holding your phone or tablet while looking at your navigation system since you are accessing a webpage (even if it is an app). If your navigation system is on your dash screen or you have a device holder, you are good to go. If you get caught holding your phone, looking at your GPS, you could have to pay up or your license could take a hit,
If you use a portable electronic device while you drive (except to call 911 or to contact medical, fire, or police personnel about an emergency), you can receive a traffic ticket and be subject to a fine and a surcharge. Conviction of a cell phone use, portable electronic device use, or a texting violation will also result in points being added to your DMV driving record.
All it takes to have your driver's license suspended in New York is 11 points in an 18-month period.