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Cell Phone Use is Required to be Noted in Traffic Accidents

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July 25 2001 - Cell Phone Use is Required to be Noted in Traffic Accidents

An Act concerning motor vehicle accidents supplementing chapter 1A of Title 27 of the Revised Statutes and amending R.S.39:4-131.

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

1.C.27:1A-5.19 Report of motor vehicle accidents involving cellular telephone use.

1. The Commissioner of Transportation shall annually compile and make available to the public information submitted to the Division of Motor Vehicles, pursuant to R.S.39:4-131, concerning cellular telephones in motor vehicles involved in traffic accidents. The report shall note whether the operator of the motor vehicle was using a cellular telephone when the accident occurred.

2. R.S.39:4-131 is amended to read as follows:

Accident reports.
39:4-131. The division shall prepare and supply to police departments and other suitable agencies, forms for accident reports calling for sufficiently detailed information with reference to a motor vehicle accident, including the cause, the conditions then existing, the persons and vehicles involved, the compliance with P.L.1984, c.179 (C.39:3-76.2e et seq.) by the operators and passengers of the vehicles involved in the accident, whether the operator of the vehicle was using a cellular telephone when the accident occurred, and such other information as the director may require.

Every law enforcement officer who investigates a vehicle accident of which report must be made as required in this Title, or who otherwise prepares a written report as a result of an accident or thereafter by interviewing the participants or witnesses, shall forward a written report of such accident to the division, on forms furnished by it, within five days after his investigation of the accident.

Such written reports required to be forwarded by law enforcement officers and the information contained therein shall not be privileged or held confidential. Every citizen of this State shall have the right, during regular business hours and under supervision, to inspect and copy such reports and shall also have the right in person to purchase copies of the reports at the same fee established by section 2 of P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-2). If copies of reports are requested other than in person, an additional fee of up to $5.00 for the first three pages and $1.00 per page thereafter may be added to cover the administrative costs of the report.

The provisions of any other law or regulation to the contrary notwithstanding, reports obtained pursuant to this act shall not be subject to confidentiality requirements except as provided by section 28 of P.L.1960, c.52 (C.2A:84A-28).

3. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2002

Approved July 17, 2001.

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