New Jersey’s ban on motorists using hand-held cellphones is almost two years old, and so far there have been 3,610 crashed that involving cell phones, which led to 1,548 injuries and 13 deaths.
During the same time span since 2008, there were 3,129 accident in which a driver was using a hands-free device, with 1,495 injuries and six deaths.
Those were some of the statistics supplied this week by the N.J. Division of Highway Traffic Safety.
Since the law prohibiting Garden State drivers from using hand-held cellphones went into effect 23 months ago, police have issued 224,725 citations for its violation. That constitutes just 4 percent of almost 5.4 million overall moving violations, not including DUI offenses, that took place in the same period.
New Jersey’s ban on cell phones went into effect March 1, 2008. But some might question its impact after seeing the results of a poll conducted last year by Fairleigh Dickinson University and the state highway traffic division. That survey found that the number of drivers who claim they have sent text messages while they were driving rose 40 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to NewJerseyNewsroom.com.
But talking on cellphones while driving has dropped, with 80 percent maintaining that in 2009 they never or rarely did it, an increase from 71 percent in 2007.
The penalty for violating New Jersey’s cellphone law is a $100 fine, along with court costs and fees.
New Jersey will be putting up signs, especially on highways that enter the state, warning drivers that it’s illegal to use a hand-held cellphone while you’re driving in thr Garden State.
Earlier this week, on Thursday, there was a bill before the New Jersey Assembly that would make police officers to note whether a driver was distracted before having an accident.
When doing an accident report, police would have to check off a box that would say what the distraction was. The choices include using a cellphone, hair grooming, changing the radio, eating, using a FAX machine interacting with a pet.