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!