FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 25, 2008

CONTACT: Wayne Avery, (908) 527-4742

 

HAND-HELD CELL PHONE/TEXTING BECOMES PRIMARY OFFENSE
BEGINNING MARCH 1, 2008

Motorists traveling the roadways throughout the State of New Jersey should be aware of a change in the law that will take affect this Saturday, March 1. On that date, the use of a wireless hand-held telephone or electronic communications device by the operator of a moving motor vehicle will become a primary offense. The use of a hand-held wireless telephone or electronic communication device includes, but is not limited to: talking or listening to another person and text messaging or sending an electronic message.

“Our County Police Department will be joining with law enforcement agencies statewide in enforcing this new law,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada. “Ensuring that motorists who use our roadways do so in a safe and courteous manner has always been of great importance. This new law will help drivers give full attention to what is happening around them, creating a much safer trip for all.”

The operator of a motor vehicle may use a hand-held wireless telephone while driving with one hand on the steering wheel only if the operator has reason to fear for his/her life or safety, or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against him/her or another person.

The operator may also use the device to report to appropriate authorities a fire; traffic crash; serious road hazard; medical or hazardous material emergency; another motorist who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The fine for violating this statute is $100. No points will be assessed for the offense.