By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Last week, we told you about a New Jersey appeals court ruling that could make people liable in court if they text someone they know is behind the wheel of a car. Now, a central Jersey legislator is working to stop that idea cold.
Monmouth County Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande will propose a bill on Monday that clears any ambiguity. You can text anyone you want, as long as you’re not driving. She believes this court decision benefits no one but lawyers.
“That is insane, quite frankly,” Casagrande says. “The reality is it’s just another way for plaintiff’s lawyers to put more people at the defense table, another pocket, and it’s also really unprecedented.”
She considers it impractical for someone to know what the recipient of their message may or may not be doing at any given moment. Besides, at the end of the day, it’s the driver who’s responsible behind the wheel.
“I don’t think we need to live in a world where we become paranoid every time we send a text message that we now have to think through and think about what that other person may or may not be doing,” she says. “It’s just plain stupid.”
Casagrande is a Republican in an Assembly controlled by Democrats. And it’s an election year. But she hopes to garner bi-partisan support for what she calls common sense legislation.