Cell Phone Use

The cell phone may be used by the operator of a moving motor vehicle as long as it is a hands-free wireless telephone or the device is used hands-free with an attachment generally referred to as bluetooth. The statute N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3 Use of Wireless Telephone, Electronic Communication Device in Moving Vehicles provides complete information on use, fines, penalties and defenses and therefore a full reading is necessary.

Being observed with a cell phone in your hand is a sure way to receive a summons. I have listened to many versions on how the traffic stop occurred with the cell phone…just holding it, wasn’t talking, slid off the seat and just picking it up off the floor. Keep the phone out of your hand and of course never text while driving.

One has to be mindful that fines are steep on cell phone tickets and get progressively higher after the first offense. On a third or subsequent offense there are additional penalties, the Court in its discretion may order the person to forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of 90 days. On a third or subsequent violation three points shall be assessed. The full statute to consult is N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3.

However, in the case of a cell phone charge there may depending on a variety of circumstances or factors other alternatives of disposition.

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