Penalties Doubled For Texting And Talking While Driving
On Thursday, June 27, 2013 a new law was signed into effect by Gov. Christie increasing the penalties for texting or talking while driving in New Jersey. The legislation which will take effect in 13 months now increases the penalty for a first time offender from the present $100.00 fine to a minimum of $200.00 or maximum of $400, second time offenders will face fines of $400 to $600 and a third time offender will not only face increased fines of $600 to $800 but the possibility of a license suspension of 90 days. Third and subsequent offenders would be subject to three motor vehicle points.
The bill was passed in March but recently amended to permit 50 percent of the penalties going to the municipality where the offense occurred. The other 50% will be shared by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and will go towards a public education program on the dangers of texting or talking while driving.
Senator Fred Madden stated that “This Law is intended to save lives and make people think twice before putting themselves and others at risk”. According to the bill, 81,133 drivers pled guilty to sending text messages between June 2011 and May, 2012.