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Borough Notices


New Regulations for Hand-held Cell-phones and Text Messaging go into effect March 1, 2008

On March 1, 2008, revisions to the statute regulating the use of a cell phone while operating a moving vehicle will go into effect. The revision makes the violation a "primary offense" for which an officer may stop and summons a motorist for speaking on a cell phone (other than hands-free) or text messaging while operating a moving vehicle (read the statute below for the limited exceptions). The law exempts law enforcement officers, fire officials, and any operator of an authorized emergency vehicle while in the performance of his or her duties. 39:4-97.3 Use of wireless telephone, electronic communication device in moving vehicle; definitions; enforcement.     a. The use of a wireless telephone or electronic communication device by an operator of a moving motor vehicle on a public road or highway shall be unlawful except when the telephone is a hands-free wireless telephone or the electronic communication device is used hands-free, provided that its placement does not interfere with the operation of federally required safety equipment and the operator exercises a high degree of caution in the operation of the motor vehicle. For the purposes of this section, an "electronic communication device" shall not include an amateur radio.

    b. The operator of a motor vehicle may use a hand-held wireless telephone while driving with one hand on the steering wheel only if:

        (1) The operator has reason to fear for his life or safety, or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against himself or another person; or

        (2) The operator is using the telephone to report to appropriate authorities a fire, a traffic accident, a serious road hazard or medical or hazardous materials emergency, or to report the operator of another motor vehicle who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A hand-held wireless telephone user's telephone records or the testimony or written statements from appropriate authorities receiving such calls shall be deemed sufficient evidence of the existence of all lawful calls made under this paragraph.

As used in this act, "hands-free wireless telephone" means a mobile telephone that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such mobile telephone, by which a user engages in a conversation without the use of either hand; provided, however, this definition shall not preclude the use of either hand to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the telephone.

"Use" of a wireless telephone or electronic communication device shall include, but not be limited to, talking or listening to another person on the telephone, text messaging, or sending an electronic message via the wireless telephone or electronic communication device.

c. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.2007, c.198).

d. A person who violates this section shall be fined $100.

e. No motor vehicle points or automobile insurance eligibility points pursuant to section 26 of P.L.1990, c.8 (C.17:33B-14) shall be assessed for this offense.

f. The Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission shall develop and undertake a program to notify and inform the public as to the provisions of this act. g. Whenever this section is used as an alternative offense in a plea agreement to any other offense in Title 39 of the Revised Statutes that would result in the assessment of motor vehicle points, the penalty shall be the same as the penalty for a violation of section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75 (C.39:4-97.2), including the surcharge imposed pursuant to subsection f. of that section, and a conviction under this section shall be considered a conviction under section 1 of P.L.2000, c.75 (C.39:4-97.2) for the purpose of determining subsequent enhanced penalties under that section. 39:4-97.4 Inapplicability of act to certain officials. The prohibitions set forth in this act shall not be applicable to any of the following persons while in the actual performance of their official duties: a law enforcement officer; a member of a paid, part-paid, or volunteer fire department or company; or an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle.

School Traffic Safety 

After monitoring the traffic patterns around our schools, several safety problems were observed and must be addressed. First, the crossing guards posted at the schools are there for your child's safety and must be listened to when on post.  Traffic laws must also be followed to prevent a child from being struck and hurt by a vehicle.  You may not park or stop to let off, or pick up your child in a yellow or coned-off area.   When in a legal zone, you must pull to the curb and have your child exit on the curbside of the roadway

The main concern of the Hawthorne Police Department is the safety of your children.  Be advised that uniformed officers will be issuing summonses to anyone that does not follow the laws stated above.  The police have received many complaints about these problems and your fellow parents stated they would sign complaints also if necessary.

If you have any questions about these concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Sgt Finstra at Police Headquarters at 973-427-1800 or by email at rfinstra@hawthornepdnj.org

Telemarketing Misrepresentation


The members of the Hawthorne Police Department, PBA Local 200, wish to take this opportunity to alert the citizens of Hawthorne that several residents have reported receiving telephone calls from telemarketers seeking donations to benefit law enforcement concerns.  During these telephone calls, the solicitors have inferred that they represent officers from our jurisdiction.  

Neither the Hawthorne PBA or any PBA Local in the State of New Jersey, including our parent organization, the New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association, Inc., uses telemarketing as a means of fundraising. Efforts through legislation are currently being pursued by the PBA to end telemarketing by groups chartered for the representation and benefit of law enforcement officers in New Jersey.

Groups such as the Fraternal Order of Police, the New Jersey Superior Officers Association, and the Garden State Law Enforcement Officers Association just to name a few, have traditionally engaged in blanket telephone solicitations of the entire State regardless of whether or not the actually represent officers from the areas they call. We urge all residents to decline requests for donations made by telemarketers. Further, anyone wishing to make a contribution to this association may contact us at (973) 427-1800 or via our mailing address, P. O. Box 123, Hawthorne, NJ  07507. Inquiries can also be made via email to jknepper@hawthornenj.org .