New Jersey Lawmakers Consider Highly-Restrictive Distracted Driving Law
New Jersey lawmakers are cracking down on distracted driving in the state.
A bill introduced by New Jersey State Assemblyman John Wisniewski would give police greater authority to address the problem of drivers who not only text but eat or even groom themselves while behind the wheel.
Currently, Maine and Utah are the only other states with highly-restrictive distracted driving laws.
“Reading newspapers, opening maps while driving a car” are among the things the assemblyman cited as dangerous. Violators would face fines ranging from $200 to $600 for a first offense and $400 to $600 for the second while a third offense could result in a suspended license.
Wisniewski later told reporters that the bill is not intended to target drivers merely drinking water or coffee while driving. It is intended to target more dangerous activities, such as applying makeup, shaving, and eating meals.
In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and approximately 431,000 were injured by distracted driving in motor vehicle crashes, according to the U.S. government’s official website.
In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 10% of all drivers aged 15 to 19 involved in fatal crashes were “reported as distracted” at the time of the crash while drivers in their 20s comprised only 23% of drivers in all fatal accidents but were 38% of distracted drivers using their phones in fatal crashes.
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