Listen up, New Jersey drivers! As of July 1, 2014 cell phone tickets in NJ officially carry a $200 minimum fine.
For a second-time offender, the minimum fine doubles to $400.
A third-time offender faces a 90-day suspension on top of the minimum $600 fine and 3 points will go on your NJ driver’s license.
According to the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission, “although it is discouraged, drivers may use a hands-free device if it does not interfere with standard safety equipment.”
“Use” is being defined loosely to include talking or listening to another person, texting, or sending and receiving electronic messages, and similar functions.
The NJ MVC also notes that “a hand-held phone may be used for an emergency only and the driver must keep one hand on the wheel at all times.” An emergency is much more narrowly interpreted, and not much falls into the category of a real “emergency.”
Previously, NJ cell phone tickets only carried a $100 fine and did not put points on your license. However, due to recent studies revealing the correlation between cell phone use and car crashes, those days are over.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 69% of drivers in the United States ages 18-64 reported that they had talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.
Similarly, every day in the United States alone, over 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 are injured in crashes involving distracted driving.
With statistics like these, it is no wonder that New Jersey has taken the lead from states like New York and heavily increased the penalty for distracted driving tickets.
Over a year ago, New York increased the penalty for a cell phone ticket making it a 5 point violation that carries a $150 fine.
If you recently received a cell phone ticket in NJ or NY, contact Rosenblum Law today at 888-883-5529.