New Jersey bill targets distracted drivers

| 8/5/2003

A bill in the New Jersey Assembly would get tough with people who drive while primping, eating, reading, fiddling with an active pet or gabbing on a cell phone.

A2355, sponsored by Assemblyman Douglas Fisher, D-Bridgeton, would permit police to charge drivers with reckless, careless or unsafe driving if the officer thought the person was distracted while driving.

“Every driver is responsible for the safety of others and has an obligation to stay focused and alert while operating a motor vehicle because accidents can occur in the blink of an eye, particularly at high speeds,” Fisher wrote.

Under the bill, distracted driving would include such activities as grooming, eating, drinking, reading, tending to unsecured pets or talking on a cell phone.

A reckless or careless driving infraction could carry fines up to $200 and/or two months in jail. An unsafe driving infraction could result in a $150 fine.