New Jersey’s anti-texting while driving rules now have a clearer definition thanks to a ruling from a state appeals court.
The court basically concluded that while using navigation software on a phone is acceptable, entering the app’s password is not.
Michaelangelo Troisi was pulled over for distracted driving in November of 2019 in Princeton. He was stopped for texting while driving and issued a $206 charge.
Troisi filed an appeal, insisting that all he did was launch the Google Maps software on his phone and enter a password. He claims he explained his situation to the officer who pulled him over but was nevertheless issued a penalty.
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N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3 specifies that “shall not restrict the use of either hand to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the telephone” as part of the definition of “hand-free use.”
This, according to Troisi, is why he should not have been given a ticket.
However, the court found that Troisi exceeded the scope of any legal activation or initiation. Finally, Troisi must pay a total of 6 for the infraction plus for the court’s fees.
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Apparently, according to NJ.com Troisi did not hire a lawyer for the appeal but instead handled it on his own.