Distracted Driving Law to be Discussed Today
Remember back in August, I told you that drinking coffee in your car could one day get you a ticket in New Jersey? Well, lawmakers are discussing that possibility today.
The bill is supposed to tackle distracted driving.
According to NJ.com,
If passed, the main bill in the package (A1908) would prohibit drivers in the state from "engaging in any activity, not related to the operation of the vehicle, in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle."
And if passed, it will be one of the toughest distracted driving laws in the country. Also one of the most expensive for those that break the rules. NJ.com says,
And it would be maybe the toughest such laws in the nation. Violators could face a $200 to $400 fine for the first offense and a $400 to $600 fine for a second offense. A third or subsequent offense could lead to a fine of $600 to $800 and up to a 90-day license suspension, as well as motor vehicle points.
The problem is that the bill does not specify what is considered as "distracting." It would be left up to the police officers discretion.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski says that of course the law could be abused by a police officer, but it's not likely to happen.
"Any bill we put in there — like the seat belt bill — can cops abuse it? Sure," he said. "Speed limit bill? Sure. The idea a cop could pull someone pull over someone for drinking coffee? Sure."
"But is it probable? No," Wisniewski added. "Because the cop's got to go to court and explain why they pulled Mrs. Jones over for sipping a latte."