Cell phone ban heads to New Jersey governor

| 1/14/2004

A bill banning drivers from using hand-held cell phones won final legislative approval this week in New Jersey.

The Assembly voted 65-9 Jan.12 to pass the measure and forward it to Gov. James McGreevey, who has indicated his support for the legislation. The bill passed the Senate in October.

If the bill is signed into law, New Jersey will become the second state in the nation to enact such a ban. Only New York has a similar law.

S338 limits drivers to the use of “hands-free” devices, but still allows drivers to dial, answer and turn on their mobile phones.

The measure does not allow police to stop drivers for using hand-held phones. They can only be ticketed if stopped for another reason. Fines would range from $100 to $250.

No points would be assessed against the offender’s driving record.

The bill would exempt emergency calls.