New Jersey Lawmakers May Ban Texting While Driving

Mar 27, 2007

New Jersey drivers who insist on sending text messages on their cell phones or personal digital assistants may find themselves on the wrong side of the law if legislators approve a new bill.

The plan is in response to a recent Nationwide Insurance survey finding that one in five drivers are texting while driving, a figure that rises to about one in three among people aged 18 to 34, said Democratic Assemblyman Paul Moriarty.

"It's extremely dangerous," said Moriarty, one of three sponsors of the bill. "It requires you to completely take your eyes off the road. I see people driving down the street using both their thumbs to send a text message, and I can only imagine they are steering with their knees."

Drivers caught texting would be fined between $100 and $250. Similar measures are being considered by three other states, Moriarty said.

The measure would allow police to pull over any driver found texting while driving, a tougher approach than currently allowed under the state's ban on drivers using a mobile phone on the highway. Under that law police are only allowed to stop drivers if they are also committing another offense.

Critics have asked why the bill does not also seek to outlaw other sources of driver-distraction such as coffee or food, but Moriarty said such a bill would never pass the state legislature.

The bill, introduced last week, has 20 co-sponsors - both Democrats and Republicans. It is expected to be debated in a committee during May or June and then pass to the full Assembly and the Senate whose leaders have indicated they are in favor, the assemblyman said.

Copyright 2007 by Ziff Davis Media, Distributed by United Press International

Explore further: Aircraft set for minute-by-minute tracking

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mental-health monitoring goes mobile

Jul 16, 2014

Behavioral health analytics startup Ginger.io sees smartphones as "automated diaries" containing valuable insight into the mental well-being of people with mental illnesses.

Recommended for you

Aircraft set for minute-by-minute tracking

5 hours ago

All commercial flights worldwide could soon send out an automated signal every minute in times of distress to help rescuers find downed aircraft more easily.

2011 vehicle models with highest and lowest death rates

Jan 29, 2015

The Insurance Institute for Highway safety examined fatalities involving 2011 model year vehicles, looking at how many driver fatalities occurred in a particular model over the course of a year of operation, expressed as ...

Obama sees need to move on drone rules now (Update)

Jan 27, 2015

President Barack Obama says the wayward quadcopter that crashed on the White House grounds—flown by an off-duty intelligence employee—shows that the U.S. must take steps to ensure commercial and consumer ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.