You have seen them sitting in traffic on your daily commute: the person in the car next to you at the stoplight checking his email; the woman that drove by in the next lane, obviously texting on her phone. Distracted driving is responsible for a significant amount of car accidents all across the country. This is why many states, including New Jersey, have enacted very tough distracted driving laws. However, are these laws enough to protect you and your family from becoming the victims of someone that chose to take a phone call instead of paying attention to the road?
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to someone else's distracted driving, it is important to understand your rights and options as a victim of negligence. A personal injury attorney in the Allenhurst area can review your case and help you file a claim so that you get the justice you deserve. Read further to learn more about New Jersey distracted driving laws.
The state has prohibited all drivers from using any kind of hand-held devices, especially mobile phones, while behind the wheel. However, drivers can still use mobile devices in a hands-free capacity, such as with a Bluetooth headset. If a police officer sees a person violating the hand-held ban, he or she can pull the driver over without any other violation occurring. In other words, a driver does not have to be breaking another traffic law in order to get a citation for using a cellphone.
Bus drivers and new drivers
The state prohibits individuals under the age of 21 that are driving, as well as all bus drivers, from any kind of mobile phone use. This includes both hand-held and hands-free devices.
New Jersey has also banned all drivers from texting and driving. Like using a hand-held device, if a police officer sees a driver texting while behind the wheel, he or she does not need any other reason to pull that driver over.
New Jersey's texting ban takes it one-step further. If an individual texts a person that is known to be driving at that moment and it results in an accident, the court can hold the person that sent the text responsible.
A first-time offender will have to pay a minimum fine of $100 for distracted driving. Second-time offenders will have to pay $200 in fines for violating the ban.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, you may be able to sue for compensation for your injuries and damages to the vehicle.