Stiffer Penalties Go into Effect Today for Texting or Talking on a Cell While Driving in New Jersey

texting drivingStiffer penalties go into effect today for motorists texting or talking on a cell phone in New Jersey.“This law wasn’t designed to be punitive, but rather to serve as a wake-up call,” says Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Union). “We’ve seen far too many senseless deaths and injuries at the hands of drivers who have been distracted by cell phones.”

“Studies show that texting while driving may be even more dangerous than drunk driving. Most of us know this but choose to ignore it because we think it’ll never happen to us. The stiffer penalties that go into effect today for driving while texting or talking on a hand-held device are meant to send a message: It can happen to you. If you’re getting a ticket, take it as a learning experience and consider yourself lucky because there are far worse alternatives,” said Quijano.

Under previous law, the fine for using a hand-held electronic device while driving was $100. Under the new law that goes into effect today, the fines increase to:

§ a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $400 for a first offense;

§ a minimum of $400 and a maximum of $600 for a second offense; and

§ a minimum of $600 and a maximum of $800 for third or subsequent offenses.

The law also permits the court at its discretion to impose a 90-day driver’s license suspension for anyone convicted of the offense for a third or subsequent time. In addition, third and subsequent offenders will receive three motor vehicle penalty points. [TLS]

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Its about time especially in lakewood. How many times I ve driven in lakewood and see many using and texting while driving their cell phones. I don t understand why they don t use hands free devices. I surely do even on the parkway, even a few times I ve seen people using their phones too.

  2. I couldn’t agree with the previous post more. Life is busy for all of us….safety should be a priority…. especially with so many children around…

    BE EXTRA CAREFUL…. IT’S SUMMER AND MORE PRECIOUS CHILDREN ARE OUTSIDE PLAYING….. BE AWARE

  3. I agree with this law but the Police officers need to be an example. Driving around holding their phones is a shame. They are NOT above the law just because they wear badge.

  4. You have no clue about how much CONFIDENTIAL communications police conduct on cell phones. Radio scanners are used by criminals. I suppose we should rip out the computers too?

  5. The police have a radio in their car, a walkie-talkie on their belt, and a computer in their car, total cost about $6,000. Why do they need to use a cell phone for? When they are working, on the taxpayers dime, they do not need to talk to anyone but headquarters. Personal emergency calls can be through headquarters.

  6. I do not believe that.

    The cops in this town are on the phone so often that its not possible there is that much crime going on .

  7. You should be commenting on rampant cellphone Loshon Hora that is known to cause tremendous damage instead of bashing police who risk their lives to protect us.

  8. 39:4-97.4 Inapplicability of act to certain officials.

    2.The prohibitions set forth in this act shall not be applicable to any of the following persons while in the actual performance of their official duties: a law enforcement officer; a member of a paid, part-paid, or volunteer fire department or company; or an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle.

    L.2003,c.310,s.2.

  9. Forget the nonsense about police officers. They are allowed, by law, to use cell phones due to the technology out there. Worry about the person who is weaving from lane to lane, crossing double lines, slowing down and speeding up, not moving when traffic lights change to green, not using directional signals because one hand is occupied by a cell phone. These people are a danger and statistics prove they are causing many accidents. I was rear ended by a young woman who was texting and didn’t realize there was stopped traffic in front of her. Let’s hope the stiffer penalties deter these inconsiderate violators to obey the law.

  10. Cops take many driving courses and are skilled safe drivers. The rest of the community needs to re learn basic drivers education!!!!!

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