New Jersey Bill Would Ban GPS Use While Driving

In March 2008, New Jersey joined the growing number of states to enact hand-held cell phone bans for drivers. Now, a Jersey City assemblyman wants to add the use of GPS devices to that ban.

Democrat L. Harvey Smith has introduced a bill that would fine drivers caught manually operating a GPS unit while driving, with an exception for voice-activated models. Smith’s bill proposes fining drivers up to $100 for the offense.

GPS instruction manuals warn against programming while driving, but like talking on a cell phone in the car, sometimes it just happens. While it’s probably not a good idea, making it illegal seems like a bit of a stretch.

After all, searching through the channels on satellite radio or changing the song on an MP3 player can also be distracting, but legislating people’s behavior behind the wheel can only go so far. Realistically, looking out the window at a nice piece of scenery can be a major distraction, but no one’s proposing an “Eyeballs on the Road” law. At some point, people’s common sense and judgment will just have to be enough.

Bill Targets Drivers’ Use of GPS Devices (

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