Distracted Driving and Texting While Driving Attorney Linden NJ
Serving Drivers Facing Distracted Driving Charges in Linden, Clark, Cranford, Elizabeth, and across Union County NJ
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of crashes in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA,) distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,166 people in 2017. As a result of the unintended and unnecessary deaths, states make extraordinary efforts to prevent future deaths caused by distracted drivers. In New Jersey, distracted driving in the form of cell phone use is strictly prohibited and punishable by motor vehicle tickets and even criminal charges. New Jersey takes distracted driving so seriously that it has allotted $1 million out of 2.4 million in federal grant money to pay overtime to police departments in the enforcement of distracted driving and cell phone laws.
What is Distracted Driving?
NHTSA defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving”. Examples of everyday activities that are considered factors in distracted driving are talking on the cell phone, texting while driving, eating or drinking, using a navigation system or radio, or talking with an occupant. Essentially, anything that takes your attention from the complete focus of driving is considered to contribute to “distracted driving.” One text has been shown to take your eyes off the road for approximately five seconds, which is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field. Close your eyes and slowly count to five; this simple exercise demonstrates just how long five seconds really is.
Consequences of Distracted Driving in New Jersey
Officers in New Jersey have been instructed by the Attorney General of New Jersey (the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the State) to issue tickets to those using cell phones. Driver inattention is a leading cause of crashes in our state and law enforcement officers take it incredibly seriously. Attorney General Grewal has said that “those who talk or text behind the wheel are a danger to themselves and everyone else on the road,” and “public safety demands that we crack down on these individuals as aggressively as we do those who drive without seat belts or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.” When the law was enacted in 2004, an officer could not use a cell phone as the primary reason for pulling a person over. This is no longer the case.
Distracted Driving Penalties in Union County NJ
Based on the above, if an officer sees you driving and using your cell phone, he can give you a ticket. This motor vehicle ticket will cost you between $200 and $400 for the first offense, $400-$600 for a second offense, and between $600 and $800 for a third offense, as well as a possible 90-day license suspension and three points added to your license.
Depending on your occupation, an employer may be very unhappy if you have received a ticket for cell phone use. For some people, their job may be in jeopardy by receiving such a simple ticket. Not obeying the traffic laws may be seen as a risk to employers if you drive a company car, work for a taxi or ride-sharing company, or drive a commercial vehicle.
Distracted Driving Resulting in the Injury of Another Motorist or Pedestrian
In more serious cases, if another person is injured due to distracted driving, the driver could face criminal charges. Drivers in New Jersey have been charged with assault by auto and even manslaughter for injuries that have occurred as a direct result of distracted driving. In less serious cases, a driver can also be given tickets for reckless or careless driving in addition to a cell phone ticket. These tickets can impact you through increases in insurance charge and an increase in points on your license, which can lead to license suspension if you accumulate a sufficient amount. Fortunately, there are ways to fight a distracted driving ticket and other ways to negotiate a less damaging plea.
Contact a Linden Texting While Driving Traffic Law Attorney for Immediate Legal Assistance
When confronting charges for Distracted Driving or Texting and Driving in New Jersey, it is essential to have a complete understanding of the charges against you, the potential penalties associated with a conviction, and the collateral issues which may work to your advantage or undermine your chances for achieving a successful outcome.
If you have been involved in a car accident involving a driver who was talking on their cell phone, texting, or was otherwise distracted, or you are confronting charges because of those issues, Edward Cooper and his firm can help you. Contact us today for a consultation on your situation at 908-481-4625 or through our website.