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NJ Senate gives handset driving ban some teeth

Evan Blass

New Jersey's law banning in-car handset cellphone use is close to getting some real teeth, with only an approval by the state assembly needed to change the offense from secondary to primary, meaning that law enforcement officials would actually be able to pull people over instead of just shaking their fists in frustration as offenders whiz by. The NJ Senate just approved the measure by 35 votes to none, which would give officers the power to ticket and fine chatters on the spot, to the tune of $100 to $250 (depending on how sleek/tech your cellphone is, we imagine). The overwhelming support in the Senate (called a super-majority, as our political science classes taught us) makes it seem likely that assembly passage is merely a formality, although this development is no reason for Jersey residents to panic- the just-as-distracting activity of using a hands-free headset to gab it up while doing the eight-lane-shuffle on the Garden State Parkway is still 100% legal.

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