New Jersey considering driver text messaging ban

Posted by Frederick Roberts

Trenton (NJ) State authorities are considering banning all drivers from using their cell phones to send text messages after research found that one in five drivers sends text messages while driving, and one in three among the 18 to 24 age group of drivers.

Under existing laws in the state of New Jersey it is illegal to use your cell phone whilst driving on the highway, though police cannot pull you over for it. Under the new law police will be able to pull over anyone they see driving whilst using their cell phone to send text messages, and fines of between $100 and $250 could be imposed.

Democratic Assemblyman Paul Moriarty told Reuters "It requires you to completely take your eyes off the road. I see people driving down the street using both their thumbs to send a text message, and I can only imagine they are steering with their knees." He added that texting whilst driving was “extremely dangerous.”

The bill, which has considerable support in the state assembly, is due to be debated in either May or June, and other states are considering similar laws, which have already been implemented in other countries. In the United Kingdom, for example, it has been illegal to drive while using a cell phone since 2003.