Driver inattention was cited as a contributing factor in more than half the accidents in New Jersey in 2016, according to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic and Safety. A statewide initiative – a high visibility enforcement campaign titled “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” – is now underway to address distracted driving in New Jersey.
Distracted driving accidents
In 2016, distracted driving accidents took 3,450 lives, according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Another 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes that involved a distracted driver. Distracted driving is listed as a factor in car accidents at a rate that is nine times greater than speeding, the next highest contributing factor. Because text messaging requires cognitive, visual, and manual attention from the driver, it is by far the most dangerous distracted driving behavior.
New Jersey law enforcement cracking down on distracted driving
New Jersey is one of only four states in the country to receive dedicated federal grant funding to fight distracted driving, according to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic and Safety. Law enforcement officers throughout the state are participating in this statewide initiative to address distracted driving, with law enforcement agencies in the Burlington County Sheriff’s Office, Cherry Hill Police Department, Delran Police Department, Winslow Police Department, and Vineland Police Department specifically announcing enforcement efforts.
Penalties for distracted driving in New Jersey
In the Garden State, it is considered a primary offense to talk or text on a hand held wireless telephone or electronic communication device while driving. Penalties for doing so in New Jersey vary depending upon whether it is a first, second, or third offense:
- Penalty for a first offense: a fine of $200 – $400
- Penalty for a second offense: a fine of $400 – $600
- Penalty for a third or subsequent offense: fine of $600 – $800, addition of three motor vehicle points added to the drivers’ license, and a possible 90-day suspension of drivers’ license
In cases of second, third, and subsequent offenses, the penalties are only applicable to convictions that took place within the current ten-year period.
Experienced accident attorneys protect those injured in distracted driving accidents
When a distracted driver causes your car accident and leaves you with injuries and other losses, you may be entitled to compensation. Under personal injury law, it must be proven that the distracted driver was at fault for the accident and doing so can be challenging. The skilled car accident attorneys at New Jersey’s Lomurro Law are experienced in handling distracted driving accidents, holding the at fault driver accountable for their actions and successfully recovering just compensation for your injuries. When you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, get the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other losses. Arrange a confidential consultation by contacting our office at 732-482-9285 or online.