Be more careful driving this month!

6/4/2010:

Cops all over NJ may be watching you more closely

Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the job that the Hoboken Police have to do. It’s an under-appreciated profession, and the PD is often the scapegoat for mismanagement at City Hall.

It’s true that there is no way for the PD to be in every spot at every moment – to issue summonses to every individual that breaks one the millions of laws we have on the books. But let’s face it – the police department for Hoboken, or any other city for that matter – can be considered a revenue stream. From parking tickets, to disorderly persons, or one of the myriad of moving violations in the state of New Jersey.

While it might be easy to assume any city may issue “quotas” for moving violations, but from what I heard, that is supposedly illegal, and no Police Chief in his right mind would ever stand for it.

But for those of you that may have been subjected to a police pullover recently – you should know that the last two weeks have been “Click it or Ticket” 2010 in New Jersey (ends on June 6th) – and there is a strong statewide push on violators of seat belt laws. And did you know that last month it became LAW in New Jersey that ALL occupants of a vehicle MUST wear their seat belts?

Cell phones while driving also easy targets

Another thing you should be aware of is, that the cell phone while driving statute was classified as a “primary offense” last year – and to many officers – this is as easy as picking cherries off a tree.

One other tip that may help you in Hoboken: Based on my observations of the Hoboken411 Live Police and Fire Action Channel for the past 15 years (yes – I tuned in way before I started 411 in 2006) – that the time period you should be most careful when driving in Hoboken is the 4pm – Midnight period. It’s apparent that shift is more aggressive with MV violations than other shifts. So use your evening commute to listen to some calming music and relax – instead of chatting on the phone.

Hoboken411 doesn’t agree with the cell phone law by any means. You can become “distracted” by fiddling with your dashboard controls in your car just as easily. I consider this law to be yet another way to TAX residents of NJ.

My alternative suggestion is a bit more complicated. I know some people that can barely do more that one thing at a time without fumbling, but there are others (like myself) that have such amazing skills of multi-tasking – that using a cell phone while driving presents zero added danger. What the NJ DMV should create is – driver skill ratings for each drivers license. During your drivers test (which should be taken YEARLY) – you’re presented with a varying array of mental acuity, aggressive driving, attention span tests, and many more. For those more advanced – get a higher rating, and thus less of these fruity laws apply to you. Those that perform horribly on their capability tests would be banned from using cell phones, etc. Just a thought.

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5 Comments on "Be more careful driving this month!"

Litteredboken
Member
Litteredboken

Wonder if anyone listed to “This American Life” this past weekend. (Or read the article in the Village Voice.) Podcast would be worth checking out for more info on police being issued ticket quotas by their “superiors”, and other such shenanigans. Not suggesting that this is happening here in Hoboken…)

plywood
Member
plywood

I honestly don’t understand how anyone could not think talking on a cell phone is more attention consuming than operating an air conditioner or operating a radio. The real system abuse is “hands free” which is code for holding the handset out of view while scanning a contacts list or dialing a number. I can’t quote a source readily but I have read it has been established that “hands free” cell phone use affects your ability to drive basically as much as a handheld phone. I tend to believe that.
To support mooshu’s point, who among us has not seen repeatedly from behind a car driving erratically, suspecting / knowing they were on a cell phone, and passing them to find out it’s true.
BTW I say community service for being caught texting while driving.

mooshu
Member
mooshu

I was almost run over once by an SUV. I had the right of way, and the car slowed down as if it were coming to a complete stop. The driver was a mommy on her way to pick up the kiddies, and she was on her cellphone while making an illegal U-turn in town. Her car wound up shoving me, and luckily I wasn’t hurt. However, I assure you that, if not for my reflexes, I’d have been flattened beneath one of her tires and she wouldn’t have noticed one bit.

Nothing is more distracting than tinkering with a stupid cellphone while driving, whether one is chatting or texting. Think about how much focus you put into a phonecall or even a quick text to a friend. At least thirty-five percent of your focus and concentration goes out the window while texting and chatting on a cellphone.

I hate people who text or chat on their cellphones while driving, and hope that they are ticketed out the wazoo or tried in court just as harshly as drunk drivers.

SRM
Member

411,

Do you DWI and DUI better than all other mortals, know that a stop sign is just bs, figure a red light at 3 in the morning is stupid, figure that a posted speed limit is for those less skilled than you? Are public safety laws just chopping away at your personal freedoms? Are you kidding or just fishing for comment?

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