Muñoz Bill Increases Fines for Texting While Driving
The bill will increase fines an additional $100 to $300 for a first time offense.
The following information was provided by the office of Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz.
Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Deputy Republican Whip Assemblywoman Nancy F. Muñoz, R-Union, Morris and Somerset, that increases fines for drivers speaking on a hand-held phone or texting while operating a vehicle was approved by the Assembly on Thursday.
Under current law, the fine for this motor vehicle violation is $100. Muñoz’ bill, S-69/A-1080, increases fines to $200-$400 for a first offense; $400-$600 for second violation; and $600-$800 for a third or subsequent offense. Three motor vehicle points will also be applied at the time of a third or subsequent offense.
“Driving is a privilege that comes with the responsibility of devoting one’s full attention to the road,” said Muñoz. “Those who fail to take this responsibility seriously endanger themselves, their passengers and other drivers. When a person is illegally using a cell phone or texting, they are distracted and pose a serious risk to other drivers and pedestrians. It only takes a moment of inattention to cause a lifetime of irreparable harm for someone or their family. Respecting and abiding by the rules of the road is not an option, it is mandatory.”
The bill also permits a court, at its discretion, to impose a 90-day driver’s license suspension upon a third or subsequent offense. In addition, third and subsequent offenders would be assessed three motor vehicle penalty points.
In June 2012, the bill was approved by the Senate 37-0.