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: Why conspiracy theorists won't give up on MH17 and MH370

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

Why conspiracy theorists won't give up on MH17 and MH370

10 hours ago

A huge criminal investigation is underway in the Netherlands, following the downing of flight MH17. Ten Dutch prosecutors and 200 policemen are involved in collecting evidence to present at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The inv ...

Here's how you find out who shot down MH17

12 hours ago

More than a month has passed since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed with the loss of all 298 lives on board. But despite the disturbances at the crash site near the small town of Grabovo, near Donetsk ...

Assange talks of leaving embassy, sowing confusion

Aug 18, 2014

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sowed confusion Monday with an announcement that appeared to indicate he was leaving his embassy bolt hole, but his spokesman later clarified that that would not happen unless ...

User comments : 0