Please stay safe while driving and do not use your cell phone. The NJ Appellate Court recently found a driver guilty of doing so even though he felt he was just activating his phone, not violating the law. N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3 allows for hands-free use of cell phones while driving but hands-free means just that, do not touch your phone. There are very limited exceptions, as illustrated by the Appellate Court in State v Troisi, A-1324-20, but do you really need that headache! The driver learned that admitting to the police officer that he activated his phone by using his 6-digit password, going to the Google Maps app for GPS, and then putting the cursor in the search bar violated the cell phone law. The fines are: $200 to $400 for the 1st offense; $400 to $600 for the 2nd offense; and $600 to $800 for the 3rd and subsequent offenses with 3 points.  The Judge ALSO has the discretion to suspend your license for 90 days. Be smart, drive safety, and if you are going to use your cell phone or any electronic device while driving… DO NOT touch your phone, because hands-free means just that. Using your phone while stopped at a red light or stop sign is still on the road and a violation. Just wait until your drive is over, and if you cannot, then pull over and stop driving to take care of whatever business is so important, as that action may save you, your loved ones, and others from the serious consequences of distracted driving.

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