Driving While Using a Cell Phone in NJ
Using a cell phone while operating a vehicle is considered distracted driving since it takes the driver’s eyes from the road. It can lead to accidents resulting in injuries or death, which is why it is categorized as a traffic violation. In the state of New Jersey, using a hand-held device while driving, whether for talking or texting, is a criminal offense.
Drivers are advised to keep their phones on silent mode or turn them off altogether. The state allows for the use of hands-free units or speaker phone in order to leave hands available to grasp the steering wheel.
Motorists are also advised to keep their phones in areas they can reach quickly in case they need them in an emergency. Texting, on the other hand, is prohibited as it involves using one or both hands to type the message, which is distracting. The same laws apply to bus drivers.
Young drivers under 21 years who hold a learner’s permit are not allowed to use even hands-free devices while driving.
Cell Phone Ticket in NJ
Talking or texting on a cell phone while driving attracts a ticket with heavy fines; $200 to $400 for first-time offenders. Second-time offenders are fined $400 – $600 while third and subsequent violators have a fine of $600 – $800 in addition to three points and a possible license suspension of 90 days.
In such scenarios, it is important to seek the services of a New Jersey attorney who is well-versed in all matters related to traffic violations, such as our firm. We ensure that the issue does not escalate further to become a stain on your record which can come back to haunt you in the future.
Car Accident Caused By Cell Phone in NJ
In the event the cell phone violation causes an accident, the consequences are worse than traffic tickets, especially if someone is killed or injured as a result. This is because the violation is upgraded to a felony or indictable crime. One can be charged with assault by auto in the event an injury is involved; the consequences of lesser injuries are fined not more than $1,000 with the possibility of six months in jail.
If the car accident caused by distracted driving causes serious injuries, the penalty comes with severe repercussions, namely 18 months jail time with a fine of not more than $10,000. Vehicular homicide is charged to a person who causes another’s death and carries five to ten years jail time and a $150,000 fine. In addition, a person causing an accident for talking on the phone can be in serious trouble. This can form the basis of the evidence presented in court to show they were reckless or negligent in an auto injury lawsuit.
New Jersey Cell Phone Law
New Jersey laws connected to this distracted driving offense are mostly geared towards prohibiting specific groups associated with this habit. This includes teen drivers and young adults who are charged with “primary enforcement” laws. However, the culprits are not always from this demographic, as many adults have been caught in this act.
Consequently, the laws in New Jersey for cell phone use while driving is clear. To further this agenda, drivers are advised to be extra vigilant while driving to avoid causing accidents because they were distracted by a call.
Drivers are advised to ignore calls by setting up voicemail on their cell phones, for their safety and the safety of other road users.
New Jersey Cell Phone Violation Lawyer
If you have been charged for talking on a cell phone or texting while driving, consult in the experienced lawyer at The Law Office of Benjamin Friedman. Our attorney has years of professional experience involving such traffic violations and criminal offenses.