Texting While Driving Penalities May Increase

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
March 21, 2013

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New Jersey Assembly (photo by Phil Gregory)

The New Jersey Assembly has voted to give final legislative approval to a measure that increases the penalties for texting or talking on a handheld phone while driving.

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano says the current penalty of a hundred dollar fine plus court costs is not enough to change drivers’ behavior so it’s time to get tougher.

 “Your first time in court you’re just going to pay an increased fine between 200 and 400. The second time in court you’re going to pay an increased fine 400 to 600, but the third and subsequent fines is where we’re really going to get serious.”

Third time offenders face fines up to $800 and three points on their license.

Judges would have the discretion to suspend their license for 90 days.

The Senate has already passed the measure. It’s now up to Governor Christie to decide whether to sign it into law.


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