N.J. imposes tougher penalties for texting while driving

A law that takes effect Tuesday increases the penalties for texting or using a hand-held cell phone while driving in New Jersey.


A $100 fine has not been enough to stop motorists from texting, said Sen. Dick Codey.

“These people are injuring themselves, their loved ones, their friends, and fellow motorists on the roads. We’ve got to stop this practice. It’s a horrendous practice,” said Codey.

The new law increases the fines to as much as $400 for a first-time offender, $600 for a second offense, and $800 for every one after that. Motorists with three or more violations would also get three penalty points on their driving record, and face a 90-day license suspension.

Codey, D-Essex, said he hopes authorities will be more vigorous about enforcing the laws against texting while driving.

“Hopefully they do just like they did with DUIs. The checkpoints,” he said. “I think all you do is send somebody undercover at a traffic light, and you can see who’s on the cell phones or whatever. You radio down the street and say here’s the plate and make and color of the car and pull them over.”

Codey said texting is more dangerous than drunken driving.

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