The Star Ledger reports that New Jersey police have issued 225,000 citations for cell phone violations statewide. That number accounts for almost four percent of all moving violations in New Jersey. On November 2, 2007, the Governor had amended NJSA 39:4-97 to make hand-held cell phone use while driving a primary offense. That amendment gave officers the right to pull over drivers for using their cell phone while driving. It is now also a primary offense to text while driving. Before this amendment, authorities could only charge a driver with cell phone use while driving if they were in the act of pulling over the driver for some other violation.
Distracted driving is a serious hazard. “Cell phone use” related motor vehicle accidents are on the rise. Since 2008, 3,610 crashes, and, 13 deaths in New Jersey have been attributed to cell-phone related distracted driving. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) reported that a driver’s chances of causing an accident increases by more than 23 times while texting (VTTI report).
There is no question that driving while talking or texting on a handheld cell phone or blackberry device is negligent driving. If you have sustained serious personal injuries in a New Jersey auto accident caused by a distracted driver, contact the experienced NJ auto accident lawyers at Blume Forte for a no-cost consultation. You may be able to seek compensation to cover your medical expenses, physical injuries and lost income. Call us at 973-635-5400 to discuss your potential claim.