New Jersey Bill Seeks to Ban Hand-Held Cell Phones
A bill that would make New Jersey the second state in the nation to ban motorists from using hand-held cell phones while driving cleared a Senate committee Oct. 17. Lawmakers had introduced the bill in an attempt to prevent auto accidents.
The proposed ban on hand-held cell phones is similar to one already in effect in New York state, with one significant difference. New York police can stop and ticket someone they observe talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving. Under the New Jersey bill, police would have to observe some other violation, such as speeding or weaving, before they could ticket a driver for using a hand-held wireless phone.
Supporters said it would save lives by eliminating a distraction that, according to one study, is as dangerous as driving drunk. The Senate Law and Public Safety Committee unanimously approved the bill yesterday and sent it to the full Senate for further consideration. Under the bill, violations would carry a fine of $100 to $250. The bill contains an exception allowing motorists to make emer-gency calls from a hand-held cell phone.