NJ Bill Would Ban Operation of GPS Devices in Cars

New Jersey has already taken cell phones and text messaging out of the hands of drivers, and now one legislator hopes to do the same with in-car navigation systems.

Democratic State Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith has introduced a bill that would “prohibit the manual operation of a global positioning system (GPS) device or similar navigation device by the operator of a moving motor vehicle”. If passed, the ban would be the first of its kind in the nation.

Under the proposed law, drivers would be allowed to only use voice-activated systems to program the devices while a vehicle is in motion. Although this feature is becoming more common, devices that offer it typically cost significantly more than ones that don’t.

For example, according to Garmin’s website, the least expensive automotive GPS system currently sold by the popular brand costs $199, while the cheapest one with voice activation, the Nüvi 855, is priced at $399.

Violators of the law would face the same $100 fine per offence that applies to improper cell phone use.

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