TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Assembly has voted to make it easier to convict drivers of vehicular homicide or assault by auto when they kill or injure someone while using a cellphone.
Legislation approved 79-0 Thursday classifies the illegal use of a hand-held cellphone as driving recklessly, one of the factors in finding a person guilty of vehicular homicide or assault.
Lawmakers say it's currently difficult to hold drivers criminally accountable when they kill or injure someone while using a cellphone.
The Senate must still vote on the measure.
Vehicular homicide is generally punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years, and a fine up to $150,000. The punishment for assault by auto ranges from six months in prison and a $1,000 fine to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.