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New Jersey bill seeks to ban eating, applying makeup while driving

- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 1, 2013

A proposed law in New Jersey would make it illegal to eat, smoke or apply makeup while driving.

Under the bill, drivers would be pulled over for engaging "in any activity unrelated to the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle," but it doesn't specify what activities would be considered unsafe, NBC Los Angeles reported. Police would make that decision.

The bill passed unanimously on Monday in the state Assembly's transportation committee, NBC said.

The penalties would be the same those against drivers who use their cellphones: $200 for a first offense, $400 to $600 for a second, and $600 to $800 for a third, The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., reported.

Steve Carrellas, New Jersey representative of the National Motorists Association, said the measure is too vague.

"I can't adjust the radio anymore? I can't change the CD? I can't look at a map?" he asked The Star-Ledger. "This is a whole set of undefined behavior that someone could perform in the car that could be considered not driving."

The bill's sponsor, Democratic Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski, who is the committee chairman, argued that legislation should reflect the times.

"Twenty years ago, there were people in the Legislature who could not contemplate what we're talking about today," he told the paper. "And 20 years from now there will be a whole different set of distractions. Using your transporter beam while driving, for instance."

No companion bill has been introduced in the state Senate.

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