New Jersey Might Hike Cell Phone Fines

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A Senate Transportation panel has advanced a bill banning mass transit operators in New Jersey from using cell phones while their trains or buses are moving.
   
The bill stems from a commuter train crash in California that killed 25. Investigators found the engineer sent a text message 22 seconds before the collision with an oncoming freight train.
   
The Assembly previously approved the measure unanimously.
   
Another bill being considered by a Senate panel would increase fines and impose license suspensions for drivers who ignore the ban on talking or texting on hand-held phones.
   
The fine is now $100. The bill would increase the penalty to $250 for a second offense and to $500 for subsequent offenses. It also would impose a 60-day license suspension for those who violate the law three times or more.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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