New Jersey Text Messaging and Cell Phone Laws

New Jersey prohibits texting and use of handheld cell phones for all drivers. Novice drivers are prohibited from all cell phone use.

Cell Phone Use

All drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones except if: (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.

If handheld cell phones are prohibited, then what’s permissible? Here are the common options:

  • Abstinence (don't use a cell phone while driving)
  • Speaker Phone
  • Use a bluetooth wireless device 
  • Use a wired headset 
  • Install a car kit 

Drivers under the age of 21 with learner’s permits or probationary licenses are prohibited from using all cell phones, texting devices and other hand-held or hands-free wireless electronic devices while driving (this includes MP3 players, video games, and similar devices). 

Texting Laws

All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers are prohibited from using handheld cell phones and from texting.

How is it Enforced?

The fine for violating New Jersey’s cell phone or texting laws is $100. New Jersey’s cellphone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation. That is, the officer sees you texting and issues a citation. Read more about New Jersey’s distracted driving laws.

Other New Jersey Information on this Website

Follow the links below to get additional information regarding driving laws in New Jersey.

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