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Operating the GPS while Driving Could Be Prohibited

Texting or talking on the phone while driving have already been prohibited since March 2008, as they were declared dangerous activities, having the potential to distract the driver.

Moreover, a recent bill introduced by L. Harvey Smith, a Democrat from Jersey City, specifies that drivers should be only allowed to programme voice-activated GPS, therefore prohibiting the manual operation of GPS devices.

According to the Daily Record, those who break this rule face a $100 fine, just as much as if they are caught text-messaging or using a hand-held cell phone while they are behind the wheel.

Though Smith, who is also the undersheriff of Hudson County, could not be reached to comment upon the bill, others showed their support to the idea.

American Automobile Association (AAA) in New Jersey spokeswoman Michele Mount noted that the GPS instruction manuals are warning motorists to avoid programming the device while driving. Moreover, users say programming the device requires a lot of operations while monitoring traffic flow and signs.

However, there are lot other activities that could be classified as dangerous while driving as well, such as the satellite radio. "What's next, iPods?" Mount asks. Assmblyman John Wisniewski, who chairs the transportation committee, said: "You could literally do a statute banning grooming, eating, changing the DVD, changing the CD — the list goes on and on. But is this really how we want to proceed?"

Wisniewski also introduced a bill regarding distracted driving in 2006, which, according to the bill summary, would have banned drivers "from engaging in any activity not related to the operation of the vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle,” but it was rejected.
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