Ten-Day Countdown Until New Jersey Goes Hands-Free

MORRISTOWN, NJ — New Jersey motorists have until next week to get ready to comply with a new state law requiring drivers to use hands-free devices when talking on their wireless phones. Starting July 1, 2004, motorists could face a fine ranging between $100 and $250 for talking on wireless phones without using hands-free devices. A similar law also takes effect July 1 in Washington, DC and already is in effect throughout New York State. With just 10 days to go, Verizon Wireless reminds all wireless phone users to take steps now to comply with the law.

"We believe educating drivers about how to use wireless phones responsibly while driving enhances road safety for everyone," said Charles Hand, president of Verizon Wireless' New York Metro Region.

Here are some responsible driving tips:

  • Remember — driving responsibly is always your first priority when behind the wheel.

  • Program important and frequently dialed numbers into your phone to take advantage of speed dialing and voice dialing features on your phone.

  • If traffic conditions prevent you from answering the phone safely, let calls go to your voicemail. You can retrieve your messages later.

  • Never take notes or write down phone numbers while driving. Rather, pull off the road to a safe spot or leave yourself a message on your voicemail or voice-memo-capable handset.

  • A headset allows you to keep both hands on the wheel when you need to use your wireless phone. Verizon Wireless offers a wide range of headsets that fit many phone models, even those sold by other providers.

Consumers have a number of choices available to help them comply with the new law. In addition to universally compatible headsets, phones with built-in speakerphones and voice-activated dialing are available. The phone can be fastened easily to a car's vent or visor and removed when you leave the vehicle. No installation or hard wiring is necessary.

Hands-free car kits, which provide a cradle for the phone and an external microphone, offer drivers another option for complying with the new law.

For more information on hands-free options, customers can visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store or review products and accessories at www.verizonwireless.com.  

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 40 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.