New Jersey Slapping Higher Fines for No Hands Free

I was pulled over about a month ago for talking on my cell on speakerphone. Ain’t nothin’ more sobering than saying to a cop: Why am I being pulled over, Officer? You were on your cell phone. But it wasn’t up to my ear…


No dice, people. If you’re holding it, it isn’t hands free. But bluetooth earbuds are for the dinosaurs. And I’ve been told (by my husband) that the 2005 minivan I drive has some kind of handsfree but I don’t know how to use it. Excuses.

For me, the fine was $130 and no points.

Starting July 1 of this year,  the fines for talking or texting on a “hand held device” increased. First time offenders will face a fine of at least $200, second offense of at least $400, and drivers who are caught a third time will face a fine of at least $600, a possible 90-day suspension of their driver’s license and will be assessed (3) three motor vehicle penalty points.

Collectively we should be cracking down on distracted driving anyway. These news penalties offer an additional compelling reason.

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