lawmakers Dec. 11 advanced two measures that would make it illegal for
drivers to chat on hand-held cell phones, Today’s Sunbeam reported.
would fulfill Gov. James McGreevey’s call to make New Jersey the second
state in the nation to ban talking on phones while driving; New York has
a similar law.
now head to the full Assembly for consideration.
no doubt that a ban on hand-held cell phones – requiring drivers to keep
both hands on the wheel – will save lives,” McGreevey said in a statement
shortly after the Assembly Transportation Committee approved the bills. “I’m
encouraged by the process in the Legislature and look forward to signing
a ban into law.”
measure has already passed the Senate. SB338 would prohibit hand-held cell
phone use while driving. Talking on a phone equipped with a “hands-free” device
would still be permitted.
would be a secondary offense, meaning police could only ticket drivers
if pulled over for some other offense, the newspaper reported. Violators
could be fined up to $250.
would exempt emergency calls.
measure – A3939 – advanced by the transportation panel would make it illegal
for drivers to engage in any activity that would be distracting.
proposal, such activities as eating, drinking, reading, gabbing on a phone
or grooming could result in a fine. Such infractions would be a secondary