New Jersey bans texting while driving

    An organization of state highway safety officials have called for a ban on texting while driving. The Governors Highway Safety Association says a recent study showed texting makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash.

    An organization of state highway safety officials have called for a ban on texting while driving. The Governors Highway Safety Association says a recent study showed texting makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash. Philadelphia already bans texting and speaking on a handheld cellphone while driving, but city enforcement will not begin for another two months.

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    New Jersey is one of the few states now banning texting while driving. Pam Fischer is director of the New Jersey division of highway traffic safety. Fischer says getting drivers to change their habits is difficult.

    Fischer: This whole issue of distraction, particularly the technology associated with it is still in its infancy. We look at other issues in the traffic safety arena the use of seatbelts, drinking and driving, its taken us many years to get people to understand that those practices are dangerous.

    In both New Jersey and Philadelphia, texting is a primary offense, meaning police can stop a driver seen texting. When Philadelphia police begin enforcing the city ban November 1, the offense would be a code violation and carry a fine. But would not add points to a person’s driving record.

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