Cell Phone Safety: Driving Home the Importance
These days, it’s hard to ﬁnd someone who does not have a cell phone. Cell phones can be invaluable for those business professionals who spend a lot of time out of the oﬃce, or for anyone who wants the added peace of mind of knowing they can call for help in an emergency.
Are there laws limiting the use of cell phones while driving?
New Jersey prohibits the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway. Violators charged for using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle will be ﬁned $100. Also, school bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving a school bus, except in emergency situations. A driver in violation shall be ﬁ ned not less than $250, or more than $500.
Hands-free cell phones, however, are permitted. Drivers under 21 are prohibited from using hands-free phones on a graduated license permit or provisional license, except in an emergency situation.
Are there laws limiting the use of cell phones or electronic communication devices used for text messaging or transmitting electronic data while driving?
New Jersey prohibits the use of cell phones or electronic communication devices used to transmit text messages or electronic data while driving. Violators charged for using a cell phone or electronic communication device while driving will be ﬁned $100. Hands-free cell phones and electronic communication devices, however, are permitted.
Familiarize yourself with your phone
Be sure you review all the literature that comes with your phone. Understand how to use its many features including speed dial, re-dial and hands-free options.
Be aware of your surroundings and road conditions
If you ﬁnd yourself in hazardous driving conditions whether traﬃc or weather related, let your voicemail system pick up the call. A few minutes of paying attention and pulling over in a safe location, could make a huge diﬀerence in your safety and the safety of those around you.
Stay calm on the phone and on the road
Don’t use driving time to engage in stressful or emotional conversations. They can distract you from driving safely and sensibly, even if you are using a hands-free phone.
Cell phones can be an invaluable business tool or your lifeline in a real emergency. But, remember, when you’re behind the wheel, your most important responsibility is safe driving.