Drivers in New Jersey who kill or injure someone while talking on a cellphone would face tougher charges under a bill advancing through the Assembly. The Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee approved the measure yesterday.
It would make illegal cellphone use a reckless act–a legal requirement for charging someone with vehicular homicide, death by auto or assault by auto.
Use of hands-free cellphone devices would still be legal.
Assemblywoman Elease Evans says people ignore the law because they think violations will only result in a fine. She says the state needs to make it a serious offense.
The bill now goes to the full Assembly. A companion bill in the Senate is awaiting committee action.