NJ’s first lady caught in statewide distracted driving crackdown

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — A statewide crackdown on distracted driving in New Jersey has nabbed the state's first lady.

Dashcam video captured by Bedminster police shows Mary Pat Christie getting pulled over on April 10 by Officer Timothy Richard for having a phone in her hand.

"I wasn't making a phone call," she told Richard.

But Christie pleaded guilty a month later and paid a $250 fine.

"I can't tell what you're doing," Richard told her. "I saw it was in your hand. You're looking down at it. It's against the steering wheel."

Gov. Chris Christie's attorney general has delivered $1.2 million in federal grant money to over 190 local police departments to stop distracted drivers as part of the crackdown, which is called "U Drive. U Text. U Pay."

"How many would still be alive today if others had been paying full attention to driving?” Attorney General Christopher Porrino has stated. “We have an obligation to those who suffered losses to combat distracted driving with every means we have.”

Porrino's office said the campaign is yielding results.

Fatalities on New Jersey roadways are down over 7.4 percent, from 229 in 2016 to 212 in 2017, according to State Police statistics.

Officer Richard explained that to First Lady Mary Pat Christie.

"I'm on a grant detail for distracted drivers," he said. "So I have to write tickets for the cellphone and stuff."

"Oh, I know," Christie responded.