N.J. considers tougher penalties for texting drivers involved in fatal accidents

New Jersey lawmakers again are considering how to crack down on drivers who text while at the wheel.

The latest measure would allow prosecutors to seek convictions for vehicular homicide or assault by auto if the use of a cell phone behind the wheel results in death or injury.

Joyce Kulesh of Elizabeth testified at a Statehouse hearing Friday that her mother was struck and killed while crossing a street. The driver was taking on a cellphone at the time.

Kulesh says there must be consequences for bad driving habits.

“I strongly believe that when drivers in the state of New Jersey realize that there is a law, these types of crashes will be reduced saving lives and preventing serious injuries,” she said.

Another bill that’s awaiting action in the full Legislature would increase the fines for texting while driving. It also allows a judge to suspend the license of a third-time offender for 90 days.

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