A New Jersey legislator wants to make roads safer, but commuters are flipping their lids over what that might imply.
Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewskiis sponsoring a bill that he hopes will discourage distracted driving by barring “any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle.”
That technically includes drinking coffee andmunching down a Wawa Sizzli, thoughWisniewskihas saidhis measure doesn’t specifically cite eating or drinking, The Associated Press reported.
Still, everyone is panicking:
When fascism comes, it’ll speak with a Joisy accent: https://t.co/zByU85ZhUn
— Alexopoulos ن (@DaytimeRenegade) August 8, 2016
— TheDudeAbides (@bob_nemeth) August 8, 2016
@pzf the last thing we need on the road is caffeine addicted druggies suffering withdrawals on their way to work in the mornings
— jake from geico (@hasyettocum) August 8, 2016
— Thomas (@wambishi) August 5, 2016
Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, told the AP that he sponsored the bill to avoid new legislation each time technology changes, but he didn’t expect the kind of outcry that this bill has created.
Still, the bill, which has yet to come up for vote, carries some of the harshest penalties in the nation for distracted driving.
Violations carry fines from $200 to $400 for the first offense, and $400 to $600 for a second offense. Third and subsequent violations carry fines up to $800 and up to a 90-day license suspension and motor vehicle points.
Utah and Maine passed similar laws in 2009 and 2014, respectively, which each carry fines under $200. Maine would also add two demerit points to a license.
New Jersey law already prohibits texting or talking without a hands-free device while driving.