"I want to ride my bicycle." Photo by Thomas Hawk. Creative Commons Some Rights Reserved license.
New Jersey Assemblyman Jon Bramnick of Union City, NJ has introduced a bill to eliminate the latest menace endangering lives on our public roads: Cell phone wielding bicyclists! A legislative committee has approved a bill that would make it illegal for people to use a hand-held telephone while riding a bicycle on a public road. Hands-free devices would be allowed and lawbreakers would face fines ranging from $100 to $250.
In 2005, 17 people in New Jersey were killed in bicycle crashes. No word on if any of them were using a cell phone.
New Jersey already bans cell phone use while driving, although hands-free devices are excepted.
The NJ Driving Manual from DMV (or whatever they are now) has always stated that bicyclists must obey all the traffic regulations that motorists have. This includes (in fact, it's on the very next page of the manual) not using cell phones while driving. So, it's already stated that cyclists cannot use cell phones while riding their bikes. Why would we need another law? Let's just enforce the ones we already have. Including the law that says that cyclists must travel on the same side of the road, in the same direction, as cars.