Bill creating Distracted Driving Task Force released by committee

TRENTON – A bill creating a Distracted Driver Task Force was released by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.

Bill S2547, sponsored by Sen. Fred Madden (D-4) of Turnersville, would create a 11-member task force.

The bill originally called for eight members with three public members, three appointees by Gov. Chris Christie, one by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34) of East Orange.

The bill was amended to add two more public members, one from the auto insurance industry and another representing driving schools.

The nonprofit group People Against Distracted Driving supports the bill.

Miss Atlantic County Lindsey Giannini, who testified on behalf of the group, said distracted driving is rampant among the state’s youth, leading to terrible accidents.

“We need the research,” she said. “We need the recommendations.”

She said some 3,000 lives are lost every year due to distracted driving.

Assemblyman James Holzapfel (D-10) of Brick, pointed out that the problem with the ticket involving driving while talking on a cell phone is that there’s no motor vehicle violation points involved.

“Points make a difference,” he said.

The bill was released unanimously.   Bill creating Distracted Driving Task Force released by committee