New Jersey Starts State Wide Crackdown On Distracted Driving - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

New Jersey Starts State Wide Crackdown On Distracted Driving

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Police across New Jersey have a warning for drivers: Put down the cellphone, because they will be on the roads watching.

Starting today police departments will be participating for the first time in a nationwide crackdown on distracted driving.

The enforcement blitz will run until April 21 and is similar to other traffic campaigns targeting impaired drivers and those who don't wear seat belts.

The slogan for the distracted-driving campaign is "UDrive, UText, UPay." As with other enforcement campaigns, participating police forces will assign special patrols to be on the lookout for drivers violating New Jersey's restriction on talking or texting behind the wheel.

It is illegal to text or talk on a handheld device while driving in New Jersey. Hands-free cellphone use is legal except for new drivers with provisional licenses.

The penalty for the offenses is $100, with no points. But beginning in July, the fine will increase to a minimum of $200 for a first offense and between $400 and $600 for a second. Third and subsequent offenses will cost up to $800, plus three points on a driver's license and a possible 90-day suspension.

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