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Stiffer Penalties For Texting and Driving Now Official in New Jersey – Not Enough or Too Much? [POLL]

Flickr user: [SiK-photo]
Flickr user: [SiK-photo]

It bothers the living crap out of me to pull up to someone stopped at a light, and see them texting someone.

There was one Sunday when I was traveling with my wife to Staten Island, and while driving up Route 9 caught a car full of girls driving a bit erratically in the left lane.

Once we’d all stopped for the light around Jake Brown Road, the answer was pretty obvious. The driver had been texting while she was driving. You could even see that as she’d slow down to avoid hitting the car in front of her, she did so pretty much at the last minutes.

I had them twisted that day, and was about to roll down my window and yell at her to put down the g-d phone; but I decided against it.

I should have, but was hoping that a cop would have caught her and given her a ticket.

Here’s the deal:

If that happens now, the fine’s stiffer.

But I think the fine for the first time should be even stiffer. Bad habits are hard to break, unless the downside is steep.

Right now the ticket for a first offense goes from a hundred to 200 bucks.

Not stiff enough.

Let it go to 500 and watch how the number of offenders goes down…big time.

According to this:

Drivers who get caught texting on the road will pay at least double the fines under a bill Gov. Chris Christie signed into law today.

New Jersey is one of 35 states that has outlawed texting and driving, but the bill sponsors said the existing penalties did not impose enough of a deterrent.

“Driving is a privilege that comes with the responsibility of devoting one’s full attention to the road,” said Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz, R-Union, one of the bill sponsors. “Those who fail to take this responsibility seriously endanger themselves, their passengers and other drivers.”

Cash penalties will rise from $100 to $200 and $400 for a first offense, between $400 and $600 for a second offense; and between $600 and $800 for third or subsequent offenses.

The bill (S69), also gives the judge the authority to impose up to three points on the driver’s record and suspend the driver’s license after the third offense.
From June 2011 to May 2012, 81,133 drivers pleaded guilty to sending text messages while they were driving, according to the bill.

I don’t know of a text that’s so important to take that it takes precedence over the thing you’re doing at the moment…which is driving, and posing a danger to all of us.

Some people, usually kids, think they’re immortal, have reflexes that will prevent them from careening into someone else; and are impervious to the outside world that the law doesn’t apply to them.

Too friggin’ bad!

I’m glad the fine’s been raised. Now raise it some more!

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