NYAPT has written to the State Department of Motor Vehicles about the application of the provisions of the state’s cell phone law to the use of two-way radios by school bus drivers.
Our inquiry stemmed from a situation on Long Island where a school bus driver was ticketed for use of a two-way radio. This caused us to want a clarification of how that cell phone law applies to school bus drivers so that operators and drivers would act in accordance with the letter and intent of that law (Section 1225-c of the Vehicle and Traffic Law).
Basically (but you should read the entire letter) the letter says that the cell-phone law does not apply to the use of ‘two way radios’—meaning those with a two-way dispatch function that does not use a telephone network, that function like a walkie-talkie and typically used with a speakerphone embedded in the device. Again—it is IMPORTANT to read the entire letter and not take this reference out of context.
It is important to note that the letter goes on to say that such devices that DO have access to a wireless telephone service meet the definition of a ‘mobile telephone’ and would likely fall under the restrictions of the cell phone law. Again, it is important to read and understand the entire letter and not take this overview out of context of the letter.
We are grateful to the Department of Motor Vehicles for its expedited response to our letter of inquiry. We encourage our members and all involved in school bus safety to read the letter and take appropriate actions.
CLICK HERE to view a copy of the entire letter from the office of Counsel at DMV.