Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) Teens Inspire Anti-Texting Legislation
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblymen Wayne P. DeAngelo and Daniel Benson sponsored to place a “U Text, U-Drive, U-Pay” reminder on the inspection sticker located on a vehicle’s windshield was approved 76-0-1 by the full Assembly Thursday.
The bill (A-2601) would require motor vehicle inspection stickers to notify drivers of the penalty for texting while driving. Under current law, texting and driving carries a penalty of $200 to $400 for a first offense; a penalty of $400 to $600 for a second offense; and a penalty between $600 and $800 for any subsequent offense. A third or subsequent offense also may result in a loss of license up to 90 days and three motor vehicle penalty points.
DeAngelo drafted the legislation after being contacted by Robbinsville High School’s chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), members of which likened the need for the anti-texting and driving message to the “Click it or Ticket” slogan that is displayed on some motor vehicles stickers.
“The younger generation of motorists also is the generation that tends to be more active users of texting and smartphones, which is why it is admirable that these students recognize the dangers of texting and driving and have spoken out to educate other drivers,” said DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “The interest demonstrated by these students to advocate for their idea is commendable and a true example of the way the democratic process can be used to pass simple, informative laws.”
“Texting while driving isn’t just dangerous. It’s deadly,” said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “A reminder on an inspection sticker may be what makes him or her think twice before picking up the phone. We thank Robbinsville High School students for taking an interest and bringing this idea to our attention.”
Texting and driving is the cause of 1.6 million automobile accidents annually, according to the National Safety Council.
The measure was released by the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee, of which Benson is chair. The bill will now go to the Senate for further review.