Texting-While-Driving Laws

A pair of Democratic Assemblymen in New Jersey have put together a new bill that is being considered right now, and it's aimed at significantly cracking down on distracted driving. Experts have noted in the past that distracted driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Some have even said that texting while behind the wheel is the same as driving after drinking four beers.

Banning All Activity

Should the new bill go through, "any activity" that is not directly related to driving the car will be banned. Drivers will not legally be allowed to do anything at all but drive. In the past, these types of laws have focused on texting and talking on cellphones. This new bill would also outlaw things like eating while driving, drinking a cup of coffee on the way to work, or anything else. The idea here is that cellphones aren't all that are dangerous. Anything that takes the driver's full attention off of the road can be dangerous and even deadly for other drivers.

The Harshest Penalties

Now, New Jersey wouldn't be the only state to have laws going beyond cellphones, but the penalties under the proposed bill would be very harsh -- some of the harshest in the country. For a first offense, a driver would pay a fine ranging from $200 to $400. For a second offense, the fine would be increased to an amount between $400 and $600. It then jumps again for a third offense to an amount between $600 to $800. In addition, for a third offense, a fourth, or anything further, the authorities would also be able to give drivers three points on their licenses, and they could tell a driver that his or her license is suspended within the state.

Getting Back in the Game

Remember, this doesn't just relate to accidents. If a police officer saw you eating while passing you on the way to work, he could pull you over under this new law. If it does get signed into law, it will be important for residents to know exactly what it means and how it can be enforced.