New Jersey lawmakers have taken a step in cracking down on distracted drivers. The main focus is on commuter vans and buses, otherwise known as jitneys. Angelie’s Law was passed in late January, mandating a litany of new requirements and rules for the jitney companies to follow.
The law was introduced in honor of North Bergen’s Angelie Paredes, an eight month old girl who was killed in August, when the driver of a commuter van lost control and hit a street light. The light fell on Angelie’s stroller, killing her. The driver was allegedly using a cell phone, and went on to hit another light pole, a tree and the back of another car, causing a four-car accident and seven people to be hospitalized. The driver has since been charged with death by auto and reckless driving, and he faces up to 10 years in prison.
Angelie’s Law would require jitney buses to increase their level of insurance, to register within the municipality in which they serve and require drivers to have a valid commercial driver’s license. In addition, penalties against commuter vans have been increased, they are required to display a passenger bill of rights, and they must provide a phone number both inside and outside of the van or bus, so that any erratic driving may be reported. Commuter van companies have one year to comply with the new law.
There will be a $5,000 fine imposed on companies employing drivers without CDLs, while the required costumer bill of rights outlines guarantees of basic health and safety for commuters.
The trusted New Jersey attorneys at Team Law have over 60 years of experience in handling personal injury cases, and can provide optimal legal counsel. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, contact our lawyers today at 1-800-TEAM-LAW or 732-388-5454 for a free consultation.