New York has set forth more stringent prohibitions on the use of portable electronic devices for commercial driver’s license holders, including prohibiting their use when stopped in traffic, according to the New York State Motor Truck Association.
Commercial drivers are now prohibited from making a phone call or using a portable electronic device while the vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays, unless it is “hands free.”
Also an operator of a commercial motor vehicle who holds a mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of their ear while the vehicle is temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delay, is also presumed to be engaged in a call, making it illegal. The same applies to holding a portable electronic device, such as a table, in a conspicuous manner, under the same conditions.
Motor carriers must not allow or require their drivers to use mobile phones/portable electronic devices while driving.
A mobile telephone used by a person operating a commercial motor vehicle shall not be deemed a "hands-free mobile telephone" when the driver dials or answers the mobile telephone by pressing more than a single button.
The state of New York banned the use of handheld cell phones in 2001. Texting and the use of all electronic devices by drivers was banned in 2009, but now it has now adopted more stringent guidelines for commercial drivers.
The guidelines hold New York's intrastate carriers to nearly the same standards set by federal law for interstate carriers, according to the NYMTA.