Is it Illegal to Check my Cell Phone at a Red Light in New Jersey?

New Jersey lawmakers have introduced a new bill to further crack down on distracted driving. Under this new bill, you would no longer be able to use your cell phone while stopped at a red light. Read on to learn more about distracted driving in New Jersey and what you need to know about cell phone violations.

What to Know About Distracted Driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than intoxicated driving. Additionally, distracted driving has been the leading cause of fatal crashes in New Jersey since 2011.

What Constitutes a Cell Phone Violation?

In New Jersey, the following are considered cell phone violations. Using your phone at a red light may soon be added to the list.

  • Talking on a handheld mobile phone
  • Writing, sending, reading or receiving any data over the phone. This may include text messages, emails, or the use of social media
  • Searching through the internet
  • Watching or taking any pictures or videos
  • Playing games

What are the Penalties for Cell Phone Violations in New Jersey?

  • A first offense cell phone violation in New Jersey is punishable by a fine between $200 and $400
  • A second offense cell phone violation within 10 years of the first is punishable by a fine between $400 and $600
  • A third or subsequent offense within 10 years is punishable by a fine between $600 and $800, 3 points on your driving record, and a possible license suspension of 90 days

Because cell phone violations are so dangerous, they can some heavy penalties.

What if I Need to Check my Phone?

Currently, it is legal to pull over to the side of the road to check your phone. Additionally, there are some exceptions to the rule. It is considered acceptable to use your phone under the following circumstances:

  • If a driver has any reason to believe that his or her safety or life is in jeopardy as a result of a possible criminal act
  • If a driver is attempting to report a fire, traffic crash, road hazard, medical emergency, or a reckless driver to emergency services

If you or a loved one is pulled over for a cell phone violation, reach out to our firm today. We will fight to lower your fines and/or points on your license.

Contact our Firm

If you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, you need strong legal defense. Contact the Law Office of Carl Spector for dedicated representation. With over 30 years of experience as both a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, he offers a unique perspective on how both sides think, and how to best approach each aspect of the case. When your future is on the line, don’t settle for less than the best possible legal representation. Contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight for you. Call today for a free confidential consultation. Let our experience work for you.