Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Badge - Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forums
Badge - New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Attorney
Badge - New Jersey's Best Lawyers For Families 2018
Badge - Rated by Super Lawyers
Badge - AV Preeminent Victor A. Rotolo
Badge - Client Champion Gold 2020
Badge - Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce
Please click Award & Selection Criteria & Methodology for information regarding the specific criteria used for selection of each of the above awards.

Distracted Driving

Each year in this country thousands of people are killed and hundreds of thousands more are injured as the result of distracted driving, making distracted driving a serious threat to road safety. Former prosecutor Anthony Kearns and former police officer Victor Rotolo have years of experience representing clients with their motor vehicle violations. The attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law understand that each case is unique and requires an individual approach.

Victor Rotolo successfully argues before the NJ Supreme Court in a case of constitutional import, in which the Court ruled that a DUI conviction cannot be used in any later DUI case for sentencing purposes if, (1) the individual plead or was found guilty, and (2) the individual was not advised of his/her right to counsel and, as to indigent individuals, the right to assigned counsel.

Types of Distraction

The law defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving. Texting is the most common of these distractions, followed closely by other uses of cell phones including talking and posting to social media. Others types of distraction include:

  • Adjusting dashboard controls (radio, CD player, heater or air conditioner)
  • Attending to children
  • Consulting a map
  • Eating or drinking (non-alcoholic)
  • Grooming (applying makeup, shaving, etc.)
  • Having unrestrained pets in the vehicle
  • Reading (newspapers, books)
  • Talking to passengers
  • Using a GPS
  • Watching videos

All of these activities can divert the driver’s eyes from the road momentarily, but even that may be long enough to cause an accident.

Texting has been singled out as the most serious distraction because it requires the driver’s visual, manual and cognitive attention.

Even a short message can divert a driver’s attention just long enough to put the driver, passengers and anyone else nearby in danger.

Distracted Driving vs. Driving While Intoxicated

Studies have been conducted that show the impairment level of distracted drivers is equal to, if not greater than, that of a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08%, the limit at which that driver could be charged with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). Despite this, a vast majority of drivers, both teens and adults, admit to using their cell phones, specifically for texting and, surprisingly, for posting to social media while behind the wheel. In fact, although drinking and driving has been declining in recent years, distracted driving has been on the rise.

Impairments, whether caused by drugs, alcohol or distractions, affect the driver’s ability to control his or her vehicle. These influences can cause a driver to follow too closely behind another vehicle or veer into oncoming traffic, and can affect his or her ability to brake safely.

Preventive Measures

New Jersey has been a leader in taking actions to prevent distracted driving. As with drinking and driving, the State routinely runs campaigns to reduce distracted driving behaviors using the slogan, “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”

In New Jersey, it is a primary offense to use a hand-held cell phone while driving, meaning you can be pulled over if observed engaging in this behavior. Hands-free devices are allowed, but not encouraged.

If convicted of using a hand-held cell phone while driving, you face a fine and possible suspension of your driving privileges. As with a DWI or DUI conviction, the amount of the fine would be dependent on your offense record. If your actions result in injury or death of another person, you will be subject to more severe consequences.

There are exceptions to New Jersey’s distracted driving laws allowing the use of a hand-held cell phone by a driver when:

  • the driver believes his or her life or safety is in danger or that a criminal act is being committed against the driver or another person; and
  • the driver is reporting a fire, accident, serious road hazard, medical emergency; or the reckless, careless or unsafe behavior of another driver, including the suspicion that the driver appears to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Protecting Your Rights

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and charged with engaging in a distracted driving behavior, particularly texting and driving, it would be advisable to consult with an attorney familiar with New Jersey laws regarding motor vehicle safety.

Together, the attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law have more than 200 years of legal experience, including experience representing clients faced with motor vehicle violations. Our attorneys will look at the particulars of your case to prepare a defense to protect your rights under the State’s motor vehicle laws. Contact us at (908) 534-7900 for a consultation.

What Our Clients are Saying

The absolute BEST!!! I have a family of attorneys but needed someone local. Victor was recommended to me and words cannot describe how pleased I was with his firm. The outstanding service and attention each member of his staff gave to me surpassed any and all expectations. Victor surrounds himself with a hardworking team that he leads. I felt it was money spent wisely. I will continue to recommend Victor and his associates.

- Stephanie

Mr. Rotolo has helped me numerous times in legal matters and has continued to support and help me through countless hardships. He is dedicated to providing the best service and is a true professional. I will continue to consult with him regarding any legal issues in the future. He is a respectable, hardworking, kind hearted man and I would recommend his legal services to anyone.

- Matthew

I am an attorney and have practiced law for 26 years. I hired Vic to handle a very difficult family matter because I do not handle family law. Vic was extremely competent and obtained a result far beyond my expectations. Without his counsel my son's and family's life would have been changed forever. Thank you Vic for your good lawyering. I very much appreciate the personal attention and time dedicated to this matter. I highly recommend Vic.

- Anthony

We recently had a situation where we needed to hire an attorney. We selected Kearns Rotolo Law and I can honestly say that we were above and beyond satisfied with Vic and his team. We would absolutely recommend this firm to anyone should the need arise. We blindly picked the firm out of the phone book because I liked his ad. Now I believe that God was pointing us in the right direction. Thank you Vic and Kearns Rotolo Law for being there for us in our time of need.

- Kim

Victor's expertise, due diligence, and empathy for his client made my first experience with the law (and last) a non-stressful one. Before the case, I did my research and looked over about 20 lawyers before choosing Victor. All my sources pointed to him as the best and they weren't off even a bit. Victor treated my case like it was his own and kept me up to date with all my appointments, breakthroughs in the case, and guided me step through step in a process that I never thought that I had to come to endure. If Victor's not available Susy will go out of her way to take care you. The productivity and efficiency in that office is second to none. Thank you Victor!

- Michael