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Codey Calls For Ban On Texting While At Red Lights In New Jersey

State Senator: Drivers Still Focused On Phones After Lights Turn Green
Texting and driving (credit: CBS 2)

Texting and driving (credit: CBS 2)

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LIVINGSTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — You’re stopped at a red light, and when it turns green, the driver in front of you doesn’t move. What are the chances that driver is texting?

Pretty good, says New Jersey state Sen. Richard Codey (D-Livingston).

“So we want to change the law on texting to say, if you’re stopped at a light, that if you’re texting, you’re in violation of the law, because presently you’re not,” Codey told WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.

The former governor said that texting behind the wheel, even at a red light, is dangerous.

“Because once the light turns green, your mind and your eyes are on the text and not on the road,” Codey said.

He made the comparison that a drunken driver who is stopped at a light could still be charged with a DWI.

“And yet texting or talking on your cellphone is much, much more dangerous than if the motorist is drunk,” Codey said.

He said he wants his bill to coincide with tougher penalties for texting or talking and driving that are set to take effect in New Jersey next summer. The penalties will quadruple then.

Codey’s bill would also make New Jersey eligible for federal funds that can be used for enforcement.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)