Driving is a fairly mundane, boring task. There is not a whole lot to do in the car and in this day and age, people want to keep busy and get stuff done. Because of this, many people try to multitask when driving during their commute or other times on the road. This might seem like a good idea but some of these activities fall under New Jersey’s distracted driving laws.

If you are caught doing one of these activities while driving, you might receive a ticket or other penalty.

What is considered distracted driving?

The state of New Jersey has relatively comprehensive distracted driving laws. New Jersey state distracted driving law encompasses most activities involving a cell phone. You can receive a ticket for doing any of the following while driving:

  • Texting
  • Talking on or listening to the phone
  • Sending emails
  • Browsing the internet

While the above offenses will almost certainly get you a ticket, the following activities are also considered distracted driving and can be just as dangerous:

  • Eating and drinking
  • Applying makeup or other grooming
  • Reading – including maps or road atlases
  • Using GPS or other navigation system
  • Watching a video or otherwise adjusting radio or other music listening device

What are the consequences?

The penalties for using a cell phone while driving in New Jersey are harsh. Your first offense could cost you anywhere from $200-$400 in fines. A second offense is $400-$600 and a third or subsequent offense is $600-$800 with a possible 90-day license suspension.

While driving while using a cell phone is explicitly against the law and extremely costly, you can still receive a traffic citation for any other form of distracted driving, too.

In all cases, it is probably safer to save these tasks for when you are parked or out of your car altogether, but if you received a ticket for distracted driving, you may have options. You might want to consult an experienced attorney who can help you examine your situation.