Bill would make it illegal for New Jersey drivers to hold cellphone in car while stopped at red light
One lawmaker in New Jersey is trying to make sure drivers keep their hands off their phone when behind the wheel at all times – even while stopped at a red light.
“People think if you were stopped at a light you can just gab, gab, gab away,” says Sen. Richard Codey. No, we’re going to change that.”
Texting or talking on your phone while driving is illegal, and although it’s discouraged, New Jersey drivers are not breaking the law if they are holding a phone while sitting in traffic or at a red light. Sen. Codey wants to change that and he means business.
“Stay the hell off your cellphone until you stop and you’re off the road,” says Sen. Codey.
State Department of Transportation statistics show nearly 1,400 crashes were caused by drivers on their cellphones in 2018.
If this bill becomes law, drivers busted with their phones in their hand at any point while behind the wheel would face fines ranging from $200 up to $800 and license suspension for up to three months, depending on how many times they get caught.
“We all know you’re at a light and there’s a car in front of you and the light is green and three seconds later it’s not moving, we can all be assured yes, they are on their cellphone,” says Sen. Codey.
The bill is already out of committee and it’s expected to be voted on in the Senate shortly.