New Jersey Considers Banning Drivers From Operating GPS
A New Jersey state lawmaker wants to make it a crime for drivers to touch the screen of a satellite navigation device in a moving vehicle. Earlier this month, state Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith (D-Hudson) introduced legislation to expand the state’s existing prohibition on using a cell phone behind the wheel. “This bill would amend current law to also prohibit the manual operation of a global positioning system (GPS) device or similar navigation device by the operator of a moving motor vehicle,” the official summary for A4064 explains. “The bill would allow the operator to use a voice-activated GPS device.”
Motorists pulled over for the newly created offense would face a $100 fine without license points. A more broadly worded proposal to ban GPS operation while driving has been adopted in Spain’s legislative body with penalties of 100 euros (US $140) with points.
While no vote has been taken on Smith’s idea, such bill introductions can sometimes reflect a national trend. In 2005, a bill introduced in the New Jersey legislature to ban smoking in cars carrying children went nowhere. Now the idea is law in Arkansas, California, Louisiana and Maine with three dozen states considering adopting similar bans.
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