New Jersey has many regulations that govern what you can and can’t do while driving, as any DWI law firm in Camden County could attest to, but there may soon be a new law that will ban cell phone use for drivers stopped at a red light.
While it’s been illegal to talk or text while driving since 2008, cell phone use and other forms of distracted driving have continued to be major causes of death for New Jersey residents. In the hope of reversing this trend, lawmakers have proposed S1602.
Here’s what you need to know about the proposed legislation currently under consideration:
The state has already enacted legislation governing cell phone use while a person is driving. To date, lawmakers have banned:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Writing, reading, or sending any text message, social media content, or email
- Searching the internet
- Playing games
The new bill wouldn’t change any of these regulations; instead, it would tack on using your cell phone while stopped at a red light. More specifically, you would not be allowed to hold your cell phone for any reason while stopped at a red light, as doing so would make you subject to fines and the potential suspension of your license.
What’s the Penalty?
The bill currently proposes a combination of fines, license suspension, and license points to punish the law violators. First offenders can expect to be charged between $200 and $400 for holding their cell phone at a red light. If you get caught a second time for the same violation, the fine can range between $400 and $600. If you get caught a third time, then you’ll be fined $800, receive points on your license, and can have your license suspended for up to three months.
What’s Still Allowed?
While the bill is broad and can be quite harsh on violators, it doesn’t ban all cell phones from the roadways; especially in today’s world where it’s almost unheard of that someone didn’t need GPS to get to where they’re going. In recognition of this change, lawmakers will continue to allow drivers to use their cell phones if they pull their vehicle onto the road’s shoulder, enabling them to safely navigate the roadways.
To find out more about the proposed legislation or schedule a consultation with a traffic lawyer serving Camden County, call the Law Offices of Jason C. Pollack, P.C. today!