U.S. News

New Jersey Weighs Ban on Text Messaging While Driving

Associated Press

New Jersey is the latest state where some legislators would like to ban text messaging while driving, sending a message to BlackBerry addicts who may have found a way to stay productive while sidelined by a traffic jam.

Assemblymen Paul Moriarty, D-Gloucester, and David Mayer, D-Gloucester, have sponsored legislation that would fine drivers $250 if caught using mobile devices to send text messages while driving.

The pair say it's dangerous to take your eyes off the road.

Arizona, Connecticut and Washington also are considering ways to block the latest electronic fad from distracting drivers.

New Jersey and three other states outlaw motorists from using hand-held cell phones. However, that is a secondary offense and police need another reason to stop those drivers before issuing a summons.

A bill that sought to ban motorists from engaging in numerous distracting activities failed to come up for a vote in the Assembly in 2005.