Helmets

  • Motorcycles: All motorcycle riders in New York must wear a helmet while driving.
  • Bicycles: All bicycle riders in New York Younger than 14 years old are required by law to wear a helmet.

Headlights

  • Vehicles: New York requires you to turn on your vehicle’s headlights after sunset until sunrise. Headlights must also be turned on when the weather can’t allow you to see past 1000 feet ahead. You must also turn on headlights whenever using windshield wipers in rain or snow.
  • Motorcycles: All motorcycle riders in New York must turn on headlights at all times whenever they are in motion.
  • Bicycles: All bicycle riders must turn on a red taillight which is visible from 300 feet and a white headlight which is visible from 500 feet away between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise.

Cell Phones and Texting

All drivers operating on New York public roads and streets, regardless of age and license status, are banned from texting. This law became effective on 1st June 2013 and it carries stiff penalties for those who violate it. The use of hand-held cell phones while diving is not allowed by law. However, the use of a hands-free cell phone is legal. These are some of the penalties that one can face:

  • Probationary License: If you hold a Probationary License and you violate the above law for the first time, your driver’s license may be suspended for 60 days. For subsequent violation occurring within 6 months of license restoration, your license will be suspended for 60 more days and you will be slapped with 5 points on your driver's license.
  • Junior License: If you hold a Junior License and you violate the above law for the first time, your driver’s license may be suspended for 60 days. For subsequent violation occurring within 6 months of license restoration, your license will be suspended for 60 more days and you will be slapped with 5 points on your driver's license.
  • Full License: If you hold a Full License and you violate the above law, you will receive 5 points on your driver's license.

Child Car Seat Laws

  • All kids younger than 4 years old must be secured by a child restraint anchorage system while in a moving car or ride in a child safety seat that has been approved federally.
  • All kids younger than 8 years old must ride in a child safety seat restraint system. The system typically includes a safety seat fitted with a seat belt and a harness vest.
  • Any kid younger than 4 years old but who weighs more than 40 lbs can use a booster seat with a shoulder and lap belt.
  • All child passengers younger than 16 years old must wear a seat belt.

If you are shopping for a child car seat, you can order one online. Before making your order, consider your child’s age, height and weight.

Reporting a Drunk or Dangerous Driver

If you spot a drunk or dangerous driver, contact the law enforcement officers. When reporting a drunk driver, be sure to report the vehicle’s license number, current location, where it is heading to and the vehicle’s description.

Reporting an Unattended kid in a Vehicle

The state requires you to report cases of unattended kids in a vehicle to the law enforcement authorities. If the kid is in danger, dial 911 immediately.

Reporting an Unattended Pet in a Vehicle

If you suspect an unattended pet in a vehicle and you feel that it is in danger, inform the animal control unit immediately. If the pet is in danger, dial 911 immediately.