TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork)– Drinking coffee or eating behind the wheel could soon get you in trouble in New Jersey.
New Jersey State Assemblyman John Wisniewski is sponsoring a bill that goes beyond punishing drivers for texting and driving, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported.
“Reading newspapers, opening maps while driving a car,” he said while listing dangerous driving habits.
Right now, police can write summonses for reckless or careless driving, but the assemblyman said the bill gives police broad discretion in deciding what is distracting.
“I would think it’s ridiculous– we are always at WaWa or QuikChek getting drinks,” one driver said.
Wisniewski clarified that he is not hoping to crack down on drivers drinking various beverages specifically, but that putting cream in your coffee while driving or stirring it is a different story.
Still, some are not crazy about the proposal.
“I’m from Belgium. And in Belgium everybody eats and drinks behind the wheel so that’s stupid,” one man told WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron.
Violators could face a $200 to $600 for the first offense and a $400 to $600 fine for a second offense. A third offense could get your license suspended.
One driver, Fernando, says he actually likes the idea.
“I will not drink anything while driving. Your hands are supposed to be on the wheel. Period. That’s it,” he said.
In 2013, more than 400,000 people suffered injuries related to distracted driving and 3,500 people died nationally. The Transportation Association said that number has only grown over the years.