Monday, February 14, 2011

Cell phone safety—driving home

These days everyone has a cell phone, but not everyone knows, or maybe cares to follow the NJ cell phone laws. More and more New Jersey auto insurance claims are related to an inattentive driver on a cell phone. Following are a few helpful tips to keep in mind while you are driving.

1. New Jersey prohibits the use of cell phones while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway or road. Violators charged for using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle will be fined $100. Also, school bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving a school bus, except in emergency situations. A driver in violation shall be fined not less than $250, or more than $500. Hands-free cell phones, however, are permitted. Drivers under 21 are prohibited from using hands-free phones on a graduated license permit or provisional license, except in an emergency situation.

2. New Jersey prohibits the use of cell phones or electronic communication devices used to transmit text messages or electronic data while driving. Violators charged for using a cell phone or electronic communication device while driving will be fined $100. Hands-free cell phones and electronic communication devices, however, are permitted.

3.Be sure you review all the literature that comes with your phone. Understand how to use its many features—including speed dial, re-dial and hands-free options.

4. If you find yourself in hazardous-driving conditions—whether traffic or weather related, let your voicemail system pick up the call. A few minutes of paying attention, and pulling over in a safe location, could make a huge difference in your safety and the safety of those around you.

5. Don’t use driving time to engage in stressful or emotional conversations. They can distract you from driving safely and sensibly, even if you are using a hands-free phone.

Cell phones can be an invaluable business tool or your lifeline in a real emergency. But, remember, when you’re behind the wheel, your most important responsibility is safe driving. This safety message brought to you by Eastern Insurors - 888-269-3203 or

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