NJ law toughens penalties for texting, talking

NJ law toughens penalties for texting, talking

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey is stiffening the penalties for motorists who use handheld cellphones to talk or text.

A bill signed into law Thursday increases the fine to a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $400 for a first offense. A second offense carries a minimum fine of $400 and a maximum of $600 and a minimum of $600 and a maximum of $800 for third or subsequent offenses.

Judges can also suspend a driver's license for 90 days for anyone convicted of third or subsequent offenses and impose three motor vehicle points.

New Jersey is among nine states and the District of Columbia that ban handheld cellphone use for all drivers. It's also one of 35 states that ban texting for all drivers, along with D.C.

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