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New Signs Will Warn NJ Drivers To Stop Driving Distracted [AUDIO]

With distracted driving continuing to cause many accidents on Garden State roads, some fatal, the New Jersey Assembly has passed legislation dubbed Nikki’s Law, which calls for signs to be posted.

Distracted Driving
Flickr User Viviandnguyen

The electronic message signs will be used to warn motorists that texting, emailing and talking while driving is against the law.

Nikki’s Law is named after Nikki Kellenyi, an 18-year old National Honor Society for Business student and champion equestrian from Washington Township, who tragically died in a car accident last year.

“What we can’t forget is the consequence of that momentary lapse – I’m just going to check this message or I’m just going to answer that email – a split second driving on a road at 60 miles an hour moves that vehicle hundreds of feet down the road- and that’s the difference between having a collision and not. That’s the difference between living and dying,” says the prime sponsor of the legislation, Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

He points out that everybody in today’s world is pressed for time and multi-tasking, and no one thinks it will cause a problem for them, but they’re wrong.

“It doesn’t matter how good you think you are because all it takes is somebody pulling out into a highway when you don’t expect it that causes a crash,” he says. “As drivers, it’s not just about what we do, it’s about being on the road and being able to anticipate what other people do well, and perhaps what they don’t do so well, and making sure that eyes are on the road.”

Nikki Kellenyi’s dad Mike believes the measure will help to save lives, and keep his daughter’s memory alive forever.

“I don’t think kids realize that the vehicle is a weapon and it’ll kill,” he explains. “It might be another vehicle hitting you, it might be you hitting someone else, you could even hit a pedestrian. They’re brought up with a cell phone or brought up with technology, the radios, the GPS’s and they think it just goes hand-in-hand with driving, but driving is a whole separate thing.”

He also points out it’s not just teens who are texting and emailing while driving, so everyone needs to put down the gadgets and keep their eyes on the road while they’re behind the wheel.

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