New Jersey personal injury lawyers have been proud of the fact that the state was one of the first to enact laws against motorists’ use of cell phones and texting devices while driving. However, it is disappointing to see that laws enacted against the use of cell phones while driving have not reduced fatalities in accidents caused by cell phone use.
In 2004, New Jersey enacted a law that banned the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. The law only provided for a secondary violation. This meant that the trooper could only ticket a motorist for the use of a handheld cell phone if he had pulled the driver over for some other violation. Four years later, the administration toughened the law by making cell phone use a primary violation. Now, troopers are free to pull over motorists if they see them using a handheld cell phone while driving.
According to the Department of Transportation, stronger laws have not contributed to a reduction in the number of accidents caused by cell phone users. In 2007, a total of 3,287 accidents across New Jersey were linked to the use of hand-held and hands-free cell phones while driving. Those accidents killed four people and injured 1,236 others.
In 2008, the number of accidents linked to cell phone use while driving stood at 3,204. The following year, the accident numbers increased to 3,557; in 2010, 3,351 cell phone-related accidents were reported. These accidents killed three people and injured more than 1,500.
New Jersey personal injury lawyersnote that, although the law is being implemented, it is not acting as a major deterrent to people who want to use their handheld cell phones while driving.
The New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons who have been injured in slip and fall accidents, auto accidents, dog bites, assaults, or as a result of using defective products across New Jersey.