Law enforcement has always encouraged people to contact them if you notice any suspicious behavior or have witnessed a crime. Similarly, local news stations usually have a hotline to call for this exact reason.
Now, thanks to a new initiative, drivers in New Jersey can report aggressive and erratic driving
At Simon Law Group, our goal is to provide you with comprehensive legal representation and educate you on New Jersey law and any changes that are made to it. Here’s what you need to know about the #77 alert system and the state’s crackdown on distracted driving.
Spike in Fatalities
This alert system is part of a state initiative aimed to discourage and lessen distracted driving. This is a reaction to an eight percent spike in New Jersey traffic fatalities during 2016. The number rose from 562 in 2015 to 604 last year, which is an alarming average of 12 deaths per week.
The Division of Highway Traffic Safety believes that the rising number of deaths is partly due to people using a cell phone while operating their vehicle and other instances of distracted driving.
This alert system, along with the state’s “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” campaign are a direct response to these avoidable fatalities.
The “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” campaign has the state dishing out close to $1.2 million in funding to 189 towns who participate in a law enforcement crackdown on distracted driving.
How it Works
The program, which used to be just for reporting aggressive drivers, works by simply dialing #77 to report a distracted driver. The call is answered in the New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center’s call room in West Trenton. These calls are then forwarded to nearest police agency with jurisdiction. An officer will then respond to the call and issue a summons if this behavior is witnessed. A letter containing the time and place of a person’s unfocused driving offense could be sent to the driver’s home if a license plate is gathered.
People who are determined to be driving while distracted can be subject to fines since they are violating N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3. The penalties, if charged and convicted, are as follows:
- First offense: Fine of up to $400
- Second offense: Fine of up to $600
- Third offense: Fine of up to $800 and suspended license for 90 days plus three motor vehicle points on their license
If you wish to learn more about the #77 alert system or the team of stellar attorneys here at Simon Law Group, we invite you to call us at 855-370-5359 or fill out a contact form on our website for a no-cost consultation. We hope to hear from you today!