• Jun 21, 2009
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It is already illegal to manually use a cell phone for texting or calling while driving in New Jersey. A state legislator has aimed at the next in-car distraction: GPS devices. Democratic Assemblyman Harvey Smith wants a ban on manually programming GPS devices while driving. You would need to pull over to input your destination, or have a voice-operated unit. Punishment otherwise would be a $100 fine.

Probably every single one of us has had to drive defensively around someone who was obviously not paying attention to their driving. At this point, the question in New Jersey is how many activities are they going to ban? And what makes a GPS unit worse than an MP3 player or those folks who drive with their knees while they eat?

Another Assemblyman, John Wisniewski, had proposed a blanket ban on distracted driving in 2006 but that was passed over in favor of the cell phone-specific ban. New Jersey also already has a law against careless driving, which carries a $100 fine and two points on your license. Smith's proposed law would give New Jersey officers -- Smith is an undersheriff -- a specific behavior to target, but it all seems a bit scattershot in light of the copious distracting activities drivers engage in. Hat tip to Rich!



[Source: Daily Record | Gallery Images: Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 123 Comments
      Bob
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is really stupid as heck. This is something I would expect to come out of California. Someone please explain to me how this is more distracting than listening or adjusting the radio, having a pet roaming free in the car, talking on the CB, adjusting the heater or a/c, putting make up on, shaving, eating, drinking, reading newspaper, reading a map and punching keys on a computer well you get the point. So you ask punching keys on a computer? I will get to that in a bit. So banning non hands free cell phones was a start now gps. And this new law would only apply to citizens and not police or emergency personnel? Now comes the part of the computer key punching. Yes, I have seen police driving down the road while key punching on their computer. So, what makes them exempt from having to abide to this proposed law? Oh, because they are trained professionals. That is the problem with today's lazy society, we would rather ban or make a law against it first then to properly train people. Maybe that is also why we are losing our manufacturing jobs. Hey law makers I really think there are other things to worry about on a much bigger scale so let's concentrate on those. But first you really have to get your heads out of your ***.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hell, yes, pull over to program this thing. But remember, park with care. Accidents cause people.
      Linda
      • 5 Years Ago
      I live in NJ and and have only lived here for a few years. I couldn't get anywhere new without one of these devices. If they outlaw them it is just one more reason for me to hate living in this state.
      • 5 Years Ago
      New Jersey should BAN TOLL BOOTHS they cause way more accidents than knowing where you are going does.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, people will switch to good old fashion maps, will they ban them too? I've seen people trying to read them while driving.

      At least the GPS gives you voice updates to upcomming turns, etc.

      Another infringement on personal rights !!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Is anything even legal in New Jersey?
        • 5 Years Ago
        seriously.

        what they should focus on is a ban on wearing beaters, lame tattoos and pierced ears on guys on the jersey shore....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nothing lehal in NJ because of it's stupid people TRYINH to punch in the WRONG info. Actually they NEED to learn how to drive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No nothing is legal in N.J. because of STUPID people. Don't believe me? Remember this........A MACHINE IS ONLY AS GOOD AS THE PERSON PUTTING IN THE INFO.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Smoking is legal there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does anyone else see the pattern that's happening here?????? They bug the consumer to death to buy their products telling you and it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Then we go out and spend our hard earned and heavily taxed money to buy their products, only to have some lawmaker come and make the use of it illegal. Which makes the law abiding citizens how need direction have to go and purchase a new product which should have been offered initially!
      bellasol1124
      • 5 Years Ago
      What I hate is seeing drivers with their stupid cats or dogs on their laps while driving. When is that going to become illegal??
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's all relative. There are too many idiots on the roads. Using a mobile phone while driving is an idiocy. One thing is to adjust volume (new cars have that on the steering wheel) or the aircon, but being engaged in a conversation with a phone in a hand requires much more concentration for an extended period of time.

      I'd ban smoking as well. If someone is holding a cigarete, having a firm grip of the steering wheel is impossible. Not that you can drop the cig, the tip burns at couple of hundreds degrees....

      Having a sip of water? Fine. A bite of Mars bar? OK. But munching a burger or driving with an open pint-sized mug of latte... NO. I seen that recently after beeing almost run over at a crossing by a lady whose priority was obviously to keep the hot beverage off her lap.

      I guess if a person is intelligent enough they'd realize that inputing 37 Lawrence Olivier Drive, Upper Nowher, 978 23 into the satnav while driving is just plain stupid. Unfortunatelly, the stupid apparently prevail....

      You may equal stupidity with the freedom of choice but when stupidy kills those who do use the gray matter, it's for the legislators to step in. There was a time when alcohol could get you OFF the hook. The reasoning went like this: well, the guy was drunk so he couldn't possibly be in control. Hence, the crash is not really his fault.

      We moved further from that and nobody seems to question the effect of alcohol or drugs (except for the addicts) on driving.

      Progressive legislations move towards the ban.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yup, you're right. You know what else I'd ban? Looking at billboards. I'd also ban reading people's license plates, because that's a distraction. We should also ban looking at bumper stickers, because some are so damn funny, and laughign is a huge distraction!

        Also, we should ban brightly colored clothing. It attracts too much attention on the road. In addition, we should ban boobs. I have been distracted by far too many a fine pair while driving about. Also, beautiful women in general - VERY distracting.

        Also, we should ban kids, because they're such a real distraction from the backseat. Also, ban pets because they can be a distraction. We also need to ban music, a possible distraction.

        In addition, we need to remove brains from people, so that they cannot daydream. A very large distraction - I've done it quite a bit. Also, police and firetrucks are quite a distraction, so let's ban those too.

        Also, I think that you might start thinking about something on TV from earlier, so let's ban TV. Or maybe you're thinking about a political issue or opinion? We need to ban opinions, and politics as well. Who will you vote for? Pay attention to the road, citizen. And here's a $500 fine and 2 years in prison for thinking about it - you'll vote who we tell you to vote for. It's much safer this way, easier for you, and safer for society. Plus, it'll save the children. Please, think of the CHILDREN!
        • 5 Years Ago
        you're telling me you can't hold a cigarette and the steering wheel at the same time? you only have one hand or what?

        even with just one hand, it's easily done
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's always the rotten apple that spoiles the bushel.

        When someone kills someone else due to playing around with some complex gadget, then yes, expect there to be a law.

        A voice activated GPS is one thing, but there's no way in hell you can tell me that you are paying as much attention to what's going on when you're driving not distracted vs. entering a destination while driving down the road on a GPS unit.
      • 5 Years Ago
      fix the real problem, uneducated/unskilled/lack-of-common-sense drivers, instead of making more laws to prevent problem from making more problems that does not really work at all. Restriction like this will probably provoke the drivers more on the road and make them hasty.

      If by all mean the law has to be enforced, enforces the law with harsh punishment... like Singapore.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes!!! There is a serious lack of common sense on the road, and instead of creating useless laws that nobody will act on, and punishing both good and bad drivers, why not just train everybody to be a good driver? Maybe they need to create driving tests where you are faced with several distractions (cell phone, GPS, billboards, etc) and you don't pass unless you can actually concentrate on the task at hand.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thank you! The problem is incompetent drivers, and no amount of banning is going to fix that. Between inadequate initial driver training/education and an almost total lack of re-testing at regular intervals to ensure licensed drivers are actually competent, there will always be a ready supply of easily-distracted motorists.

        And I will continue to ignore any and all civil laws that I find patently ridiculous - and yes, I'm prepared to pay the fines.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I always program my GPS at home or pull off the road. Sometimes I will ask a passenger to put in an address. The whole problem with all of the devices used in cars is "How do you stop the idiots from doing stupid things?" I guess a lot of people beleive it is their right to do anything they want , no matter who it endangers. YOU CAN'T LEGISLATE COMMON SENSE.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have to admit we all need safer drivers out there & between texting & gps systems mTRYING to be operate them while driving is not the SAFEST means for pedestrians, animals,kids, bicycles & etc. I do not text but at times I do try to operate my GPS and have to temporarily rake my eyes off of the road. Everyone will have to admit that there are a S--T load of BAD to TERRIBLE drivers out there & why give them another chance to seriously harm or kill someone while attempting to drive while trying to operate a phone or a gps system. Even though I will have to change my driving habits somewhat, I have a chaueffers license for over 45 yrs and NO tickets ever, I believe that these new laws will save some lives. Now the whole idea of this is , if someone breaks these laws and seriously hurts someone or kills someone by not obeying them, don't slap them on the hand and say don't do this again, take their license for 10 yrs, fine them 25, 000 dollars and give them a few yrs hardtime, none of this baby stuff. Make these laws work for everyones safety or don't make them
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