New Jersey bans talking or listening on handheld cell phones or other wireless electronic communication device while driving. All drivers are also prohibited from texting, sending or reading electronic messages, or playing video games while driving (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 39:4-97.3 et seq.).
Fines. Fines for violation of this law range from $100 to $250, plus court costs.
Exception. A driver is allowed to a use wireless communicating device to report an accident or medical emergency, fire, traffic accident, road hazard, or unsafe or reckless driver who appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if the driver has reason to fear for his or her own life or safety. The driver's cell phone records or the testimony or written statement may be necessary as evidence to prove the necessity of the call.
School bus and public transit drivers and train operators are prohibited from talking on any type of cell phone or wireless electronic communication device, texting, or using any electronic device while operating a vehicle.
Prosecution. Effective July, 2012, the "Kulesh, Kubert and Bolis’ Law" provides for full prosecution of any motor vehicle operators driving recklessly because they are using a cell phone or other device. Drivers using handheld cell phones who cause injury or death in a serious accident can be prosecuted for assault by vehicle or criminal homicide. Both charges are punishable by both incarceration and fines (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 2C:11-5).