New Jersey governor will push to ban cell phones while driving

| Wednesday, September 11, 2002

On Monday, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey said he will introduce legislation this fall to make the Garden State the second state in the nation to ban motorists from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

"We're going to submit legislation to require drivers to use only hands-free cell phones," McGreevey told the Star Ledger. Holding phones has been documented as a distraction that causes accidents, he said.

If McGreevey gets his bill through, New Jersey would join New York as the only states prohibiting hand-held cell phones. Drivers would still be allowed to use speakerphones, headsets or earpieces and could violate the ban in emergencies or to dial 9-1-1.

Under the possible statute, fines would mirror New York law, in that first-time violators face a $100 fine, a second conviction would cost $200 and every violation after that is $500. The infraction would not carry penalty points and drivers could have fees waived if they show proof of purchase for a hands-free device.

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