What is the Distracted Driving Hotline?
You’re keeping up with traffic, but you can’t figure out why the car in front of you is traveling so much slower than everyone else. Then, you notice the driver is looking down and suddenly swerves into the next lane. You decide your safest course of action is to pass the driver. As you pass the vehicle, you glance into the window. The driver is texting and not even looking up at the road.
If this scenario above sounds familiar, we aren’t shocked. In New Jersey, distracted driving is a big problem. In fact, distracted driving was a factor in ten percent of accidents involving drivers under age 20. But, what can you do about it?
The Law and Distracted Driving
New Jersey is considered one of the toughest states when it comes to penalizing distracted drivers. Additionally, New Jersey believes that average citizens are instrumental in keeping the roads safe for their fellow drivers. You might remember that there are numbers you can call when someone’s vehicle operation seems off. But if you weren’t aware, you can add complaints about distracted driving. In order to make a call to report someone texting or failing to use a hands-free device, you can do the following:
- Use your cell phone to dial #77
- Landline number for New Jersey Turnpike: 609-860-9000
- Landline number for Garden State Parkway: 732-442-8600
- Landline number for Atlantic City Expressway: 609-965-7200
When contacting one of these numbers, you should be able to provide your location. Reciting the vehicle’s plate number would also be useful.
Keep in mind that you can use these same phone numbers to report aggressive driving or what appears to be reckless driving. These same hotlines can be used when you suspect someone is driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What Happens When You Report a Distracted Driver?
There has to be a goal of the distracted driving hotline, right? Law enforcement in the area may be able to issue a ticket. But, what’s the alternative? The New Jersey State Police will contact the owner of the vehicle by mail. This letter contains a warning about the penalties for distracted driving, which are as follows:
- First offense: $400 fine
- Second offense: $600 fine
- Third offense: $800 fine, license suspension of 90 days, plus an assessment of motor vehicle points.
Motorists who are involved in fatal vehicle accidents associated with distracted driving may face criminal charges. The same is true if someone is injured in an accident where distracted driving is found to be the root of the cause.
Were you in an accident caused by a distracted driver? Have you been served with a summons for distracted driving and facing criminal charges? With over thirty years of experience defending car accident victims, the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.