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Talking on the Phone While Driving? NJ Laws Aren’t Making a Difference

For years, New Jersey lawmakers have attempted to crack down on drivers who just can’t seem to put their cell phones down while behind the wheel.  Laws are on the books, tickets have been issued and still, nothing has changed.

larryzou, flickr

Since 2008, about 100,000 tickets have been issued each year to drivers in the Garden State for talking or texting while driving and yet, the number of accidents blamed on cell phones has remained virtually the same.  Last year, there were 3,244 accidents involving cell phones.  In 2007, the year before legislators gave police the ability to pull drivers over for cell phone violations, there were 3,287.

“Unfortunately, we have to change our culture.  You can equate that to when the seat belt law finally went into effect.  People griped and groaned, but now we have over a 90 percent compliance rate in New Jersey.  Same thing with DUI.  It is socially unacceptable and we need to get to that point with cell phone use in vehicles,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “It needs to become socially unacceptable to use any device while driving.”

The Star Ledger contributed to this report

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