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Senders Of Texts To Drivers Can Be Held Liable, Court Rules

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A New Jersey appeals court ruled on Tuesday that a person could have a legal
duty to avoid texting with someone who is driving.

Disagreeing with a
lower court, a panel of judges found that when a motorist is texting while
driving and causes an accident, the person who was exchanging messages with the
driver can also be liable for negligence.

But the bar is high. The
intermediate appellate court made clear that the sender would be liable only if
the person had a “special reason” to know the driver was on the road and would
read the messages.

“When the sender knows that the text will reach the
driver while operating a vehicle, the sender has a relationship to the public
who use the roadways similar to that of a passenger physically present in the
vehicle,” wrote the court.

“[T]he texter has a duty to users of the
public roads to refrain from sending the driver a text at that time.”

Jersey prohibits drivers from using a cellphone that isn’t hands-free, with
limited exceptions for emergencies.

The case involved a New Jersey couple
who was riding a motorcycle in Morris County in 2009 when they were sideswiped
by a Chevy pickup that had veered over the double-yellow line. The truck was
driven by an 18-year-old who was texting, according to court papers.

husband and wife, who each lost their left legs, settled their claims with the
teen, but appealed a trial court’s dismissal of their claims against his
17-year-old friend, who had been texting with him right before the

In this case, the appeals court didn’t find the friend liable
because there wasn’t enough proof that she knew her friend would look at her
messages while driving and be distracted



Whats your opinion on this,  I strongly disagree with this.

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Well I'm not sure if I agree with this as when you text someone they can be anywhere and it's up to the receiver to reply or not, now if it was an emergency a phone call would get there just as fast and if you're a safe driver you either have blue tooth or some device where you can remian in control of the car while talking, not texting....:training:

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Exactly, how in Gods name are you going to hold the sender responsible for a text that they send when they have no idea that the receiver is possible driving.  Thats like one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of.  Clearly, it is totally up to the driver operating a vehicle whether he chooses to accept or reject a call.  You would think that in this day and age that a driver would have some sort of bluetooth handsfree device if needed, but nevertheless I continue to see people on the road talking/texting while operating their vehicles.  When will they learn... so many people continue to get into accidents or death because of this selfish habit...

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the craziest thing is that it starts at an early age where now I see pre tens with phones and what happens when they can drive....enough said  :training:

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OMG... I haven't even thought of these teenagers getting behind the wheel.  Its bad enough adults do it so I dont even want to think about some of these irresponsible teenagers texting while driving.  Hopefully the parents are educating them as to the severity of what can happen if they do it.  Or that they see the news and read the newspapers and see how many people are dying everyday because of it...

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