Can You Get in Trouble for Texting Even When You Aren’t Driving?
Texting and driving is a very touchy topic for many in the modern world. It’s resulted in plenty of accidents and counties all across the nation have made the move to criminalize it. Police officers are clamping down on the dangerous practice and slapping violators with stiff fines. To most of us, that seems like a totally reasonable response to the person behind the wheel who is being careless enough to get distracted by their phone.
Troubling legal ramifications are coming out of a case in New Jersey though. A 17-year-old girl was sued for texting her boyfriend who got in a car accident. The boy was texting when the accident occurred, and he was rightly taken to court for that. But his girlfriend was not in the car. She was simply texting her friend like all of us do every day, but that didn’t stop the plaintiffs from coming after her as well. Shockingly, the judges sided with the plaintiffs.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a change in the law. Texting someone who is driving isn’t illegal yet, but this ruling sets a precedent for trial lawyers in New Jersey. Now, individuals hurt by a driver who was texting can pursue the texting partner with a lawsuit. You can be sued for simply using your phone to text someone you know is behind the wheel.
This isn’t set in stone though. It could be overturned by a higher court, and based on the ludicrousness of the ruling; it will likely be challenged at some point.
Mancari’s encourages all drivers to be responsible while on the road. If you know that the person you are texting is driving, it can wait.
For more information on texting a driver, visit CNN Tech.