Ten thousand. That’s the number of motor vehicle accidents that resulted from cell-phone use between 2008 and 2010 in the state of New Jersey. Ten thousand reasons why lawmakers in the Garden State are attempting to pass a bill that would make drivers give their cell phones to police if they are involved in a car accident that ends in “death, bodily injury or property damage.” If the bill, proposed by Senator James Holzapfel, passes then it would be the first of its kind in the US. Hawaii attempted to pass a similar one in 2009, but failed.
According to the logistics of the bill, “a police officer may confiscate the operator’s hand-held wireless telephone if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the operator was operating a hand-held wireless telephone while driving.” They would be able to do so without a warrant, checking out text messages and call history.
Most states have banned talking on the phone and/or texting while driving. 11 states overall have completely banned hand-held cell-phone use. But oftentimes the law is not enough to stop people from using their phones, resulting in hundreds of thousands of distracted driving accidents each year. But, do you think this bill oversteps the law’s boundaries? Or is it what the roads need to be safe?