The Cassidy Law Firm Blog

Thursday, May 10, 2018

New Jersey Cracks Down on Distracted Drivers

What is the penalty for texting while driving in NJ?

New Jersey police officers have stepped up their efforts to end distracted driving as part of a national campaign entitled “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” The crackdown started on April 1st and will continue for the month of April and beyond. April marks National Distracted Driving Month, making it a perfect time for local law enforcement officers to increase enforcement of existing distracted driving laws. New Jersey officers have placed spotters on highways, dispatched roving police patrols, and positioned stationary police vehicles, all in an effort to catch texting drivers. With rates of distracted driving continuing to remain high, New Jersey and the rest of the nation need to take action to protect innocent road users.

Texting While Driving Penalties

In the state of New Jersey, it is unlawful to use handheld cellular phones while driving. This includes texting while driving. As of 2017, a first offense for distracted driving could cost you a $400 fine. A second offense climbs to $600, while a third offense equates to an $800 fine as well as suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days and points assessed to your license.

New Jersey’s distracted driving laws are some of the toughest in the nation. New Jersey police officers can stop you and cite you for distracted driving alone, known as a primary law. In some other states, drivers will only be ticketed for texting while driving if stopped for another offense.

Distracted Driving Statistics

According to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, between 2011 and 2015, there were over 804,000 distracted driving accidents in the state. Distractions linked to car accidents include: texting, using your cell phone, adjusting the radio, using a GPS, eating, grooming, tending to children, and much more. While texting and driving is often thought of as the main cause of distracted driving, the truth is that any activity that pulls your attention from the road may be considered distracting.

Driving distracted could not only result in a ticket, it could cost you your life. Study after study has demonstrated the dangerous nature of driving distracted. To protect yourself and your family, be sure to put away your phone while driving and focus on the road ahead. Drive defensively and report distracted drivers through the #77 hotline. If you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver and are injured, contact a personal injury attorney today.

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