NJ Cell Phone Law
39:4-97.3 Use of
wireless telephone, electronic communication device
in moving vehicle; definitions; enforcement.
1. a. The use of a
wireless telephone or electronic communication
device by an operator of a moving motor vehicle on a
public road or highway shall be unlawful except when
the telephone is a hands-free wireless telephone or
the electronic communication device is used
hands-free, provided that its placement does not
interfere with the operation of federally required
safety equipment and the operator exercises a high
degree of caution in the operation of the motor
vehicle. For the purposes of this section, an
"electronic communication device" shall not include
an amateur radio.
b.The operator of a
motor vehicle may use a hand-held wireless telephone
while driving with one hand on the steering wheel
(1)The operator has reason to fear for his life or
safety, or believes that a criminal act may be
perpetrated against himself or another person; or
(2)The operator is using the telephone to report to
appropriate authorities a fire, a traffic accident,
a serious road hazard or medical or hazardous
materials emergency, or to report the operator of
another motor vehicle who is driving in a reckless,
careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears
to be driving under the influence of alcohol or
drugs. A hand-held wireless telephone user's
telephone records or the testimony or written
statements from appropriate authorities receiving
such calls shall be deemed sufficient evidence of
the existence of all lawful calls made under this
As used in this act, "hands-free wireless telephone"
means a mobile telephone that has an internal
feature or function, or that is equipped with an
attachment or addition, whether or not permanently
part of such mobile telephone, by which a user
engages in a conversation without the use of either
hand; provided, however, this definition shall not
preclude the use of either hand to activate,
deactivate, or initiate a function of the telephone.
"Use" of a wireless telephone or electronic
communication device shall include, but not be
limited to, talking or listening to another person
on the telephone, text messaging, or sending an
electronic message via the wireless telephone or
electronic communication device.
c.(Deleted by amendment, P.L.2007, c.198).
d.A person who violates this section shall be fined
e.No motor vehicle points or automobile insurance
eligibility points pursuant to section 26 of
P.L.1990, c.8 (C.17:33B-14) shall be assessed for
f.The Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor
Vehicle Commission shall develop and undertake a
program to notify and inform the public as to the
provisions of this act.
g.Whenever this section is used as an alternative
offense in a plea agreement to any other offense in
Title 39 of the Revised Statutes that would result
in the assessment of motor vehicle points, the
penalty shall be the same as the penalty for a
violation of section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75
(C.39:4-97.2), including the surcharge imposed
pursuant to subsection f. of that section, and a
conviction under this section shall be considered a
conviction under section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75
(C.39:4-97.2) for the purpose of determining
subsequent enhanced penalties under that section.
L.2003, c.310, s.1; amended 2007, c.198, s.1.
39:4-97.4 Inapplicability of act to certain
2.The prohibitions set forth in this act shall not
be applicable to any of the following persons while
in the actual performance of their official duties:
a law enforcement officer; a member of a paid,
part-paid, or volunteer fire department or company;
or an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle.
39:4-97.5 Supersedure, preemption of local
3.This act supersedes and preempts all ordinances of
any county or municipality with regard to the use of
a wireless telephone or electronic communication
device by an operator of a motor vehicle.
L.2003, c.310, s.3; amended 2007, c.198, s.2.