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Texting at Red Lights Could Become Illegal in New Jersey

by Jacob Kleinman | November 16, 2013November 16, 2013 9:00 am PST


It’s already illegal to use your phone while driving, but now the New Jersey government is considering a bill that would ban texting even while stopped at a red light or in a traffic jam. The proposed legislation, introduced by democratic State Senator Richard Codey would also add questions about driving while distracted to the state’s written driving test.

“Under the current driving law, if you’re at a red light and you’re drunk, you’re DUI,” Codey told We understand his argument, but it’s not exactly a fair comparison. You can pick up your phone for a second at a red light before quickly putting it down, but you can’t be drunk at a red light and then magically sober up the second the light turns green.

Codey says the real purpose of the new law is to bring in funding from the Distracted Driving Grant Program by catching up to federal standards. With just a few sessions remaining in 2013 the bill still hasn’t been introduced to the NJ State Senate, but Codey hopes to see the new laws implemented by July 2014.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...