Sunday, July 1, 2012
Texting and Driving in New Jersey
On June 28, 2012, the New Jersey Legislature approval to a bill which permits full prosecution of drivers who drive recklessly and cause serious harm or death while texting. The only thing standing between this remaining legislation and becoming law is the signature of NJ Governor Chris Christie. Those who cause serious crashes while texting would be prosecuted under criminal homicide or assault-by-vehicle laws. This legislation brings texting and driving penalties to the level penalties faced by those guilty of driving under the influence. There would be an automatic presumption of reckless driving in the event a serious accident occurs while the driver is using a cell phone without a hands-free device. Penalties include imprisonment and fines up to $150,000. In the event of a moving violation without a serious accident, violators would be guilty of reckless driving. The current $100 fine would be increased to $200 for a 1st offense, $400 for a 2nd offense and $600 for a3rd or subsequent offenses. Additionally, 3rd and subsequent offenders would receive 3 points on their driver's license and up to 90 days suspension. Commercial drivers would face a fine of $250 for use of a cell phone without a hands-free device. These penalties also apply to drivers of boats. For more information on NJ driving penalties or other criminal or municipal court matters visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.