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Penalty For TXTing While Driving Increases Under Muñoz Bill

Bill A-1080, would increase fine to $200 for a first offense, $400 for a second offense, and $600 for a third.

Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, that increases fines for drivers speaking on a hand-held phone or texting while operating a vehicle was released by the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee on Thursday.

Under current law, the fine for this motor vehicle violation is $100. Muñoz’ bill, A-1080, would increase that fine to $200 for a first offense, $400 for a second offense, and $600 for a third or subsequent offense.

“Driving is a privilege that comes with a responsibility to give full attention to the road,” said Muñoz. “Those who fail to take this responsibility seriously endanger themselves, the passengers in their car and other drivers. Unfortunately, there are still too many drivers who don’t abide by the current law. Increasing the fines and penalties for those who are habitual offenders will get their attention. Respecting and abiding by the rules of the road is not an option, it is mandatory.”

The bill also permits a court, at its discretion, to impose a 90-day driver’s license suspension for persons convicted of the offense for a third or subsequent time. In addition, third and subsequent offenders would receive three motor vehicle penalty points.

A person convicted of a second offense of driving while talking or texting on a hand-held device would be treated as a first time offender for sentencing purposes if the second offense occurs more than 10 years after the first offense.

 

This is a press release from the Assembly Republican Press Office.

barbara m December 16, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Talking on a handheld device is bad enough.....but texting actually takes your eyes off the road.....how scary!! I don't think these penalties are severe enough. I'd like to see more suspensions and maybe, after multiple offenses, someone should impound their cars.
Camilo H. Smith (Editor) December 16, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Barbara, impounding a car after multiple offenses? I'm almost surprised that's not already part of the punishment.

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