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Author Topic: Only in New Jersey: Bill would ban motorists from drinking coffee and driving  (Read 247 times)

Silent_Bob

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/08/08/nj-distracted-driving-bill-ban-motorists-drinking-coffee-road/88380406/

ew Jersey already draws ire for not letting drivers pump their own gas. But the state might ban them from having a cup of coffee behind the wheel too.

A bill under consideration in the state Legislature calls to prohibit "any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle on a public road or highway." That means no cup of coffee for those sitting in traffic, no munching on that breakfast burrito, no time to groom. (No, the law does not target coffee verbatim.)

The bill is meant to target distracted driving, which plays a role in thousands of fatal crashes in the state each year. At least 3,179 fatal crashes were attributed to distracted driving in 2014, according to the state's Division of Highway Traffic Safety website. Distracted driving played a role in nearly 800,000 crashes between 2010 and 2014.

"The issue is that we need to try, in every way, to discourage distracted driving, it's dangerous," Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democrat in Central Jersey, who sponsored the bill, told The Star-Ledger. "Education and enforcement can change the attitudes of people."


Wisniewski and two other sponsors, Assemblymen Nicholas Chiaravalloti  Patrick Diegnan, said the legislation was modeled after a law in Maine passed in 2009 that outlawed distracted driving altogether.

So, the penalty for sneaking a bite of your ham sandwich? Between $200 and $400 for the first offense, $400 to $600 for the second and $600 to $800 for the third, as well as a 90-day license suspension and points on the license.


Wisniewski said he has seen people try to multitask while driving, even reading newspapers behind the wheel, according to News 12 New Jersey. The law, he said, is meant to educate, not punish motorists.

But some drivers aren't convinced such a broad interpretation of distracted driving is the answer.

@AssemblymanWiz you have to take in effect the experience of the driver too. You need to rethink this bill. And impact on some businesses.
— Jason Tremblay (@sleepmonger37) August 8, 2016
It's seriously going to be illegal to drink your coffee while you drive. Time to invent hands free, dash mounted coffee cups. 💡
— Carly (@nuclearcarly) August 5, 2016
Here's what a logical New Englander thinks about NJ's proposed coffee ban https://t.co/Md4omgTfDM
— Ralph S. Ventre (@NECralph) August 6, 2016
No word yet on whether changing radio stations or talking to someone in the passenger's seat while driving would be outlawed too.
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Erroneous_Logic

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The truth of the nations finances are starting to clamp down on local governments. Obviously, they need a quick, easy way to make some more money.
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Free libertarian

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According to the US Surgeon General's reports caffeine as a substance kills a couple thousand a year, cannabis (the substance alone) kills zero. 

Best to ditch the coffee and spark one up!   
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KBCraig

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Quote
the state Legislature calls to prohibit "any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle on a public road or highway."

You mean like radar guns, two-way radios, license plate scanners, and MDTs?
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KBCraig

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Truck stops will fill your Thermos with coffee.

I guess the next step is filling your hands-free Camelbak.
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Erroneous_Logic

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Truck stops will fill your Thermos with coffee.

I guess the next step is filling your hands-free Camelbak.

Oh, but then the little sippy nipple falls out of your mouth, and you become distracted whilst recovering it. Looking away from the road for a moment, you fail to see the large troop of rare endangered giant exploding penguins being ridden into the middle of the road by preschoolers . . .
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