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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hang Up That Cell Phone in New Jersey And Drive!

Phoning while driving in New Jersey could be a real toll call
Published: Saturday, March 01, 2008
Hang up and drive - or else. Starting today, police can ticket drivers who talk on a hand-held cell phone or send text messages while the car is moving. And the officer doesn't need another excuse to pull you over. The fine for the first offense is $100, but no points are added to your license.
It has been illegal since 2004 to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving, but it was a secondary offense. That meant police had to see a driver commit another motor-vehicle violation, and could then write a second ticket for using the phone while driving.
But starting today, it is a primary offense, and the officer can stop you just for talking or texting. Drivers using headsets are exempt from the law.
You can still use a hand-held cell phone if you're in fear for your safety or to report a crime, fire or accident. But if you're calling your spouse to ask what's for dinner or sharing the day's events with a friend, wait until you get where you're going or be prepared to pay a fine.
Don't expect leniency or warnings, at least from state troopers. Capt. Al DellaFave of New Jersey State Police has said the troopers have their ticket books ready to write the summonses ! Be careful! You have been warned.

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