New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) wife was caught in a statewide crackdown on distracted driving his attorney general ordered earlier in 2017, according to NJ Advance Media.
NJ Advance Media on Thursday reported that Officer Timothy Richard of the Bernardsville Police Department pulled over a vehicle shortly before 11 a.m. local time on April 10.
Records show that Richard, 27, stopped a white 2016 Chevy Suburban whose driver was clutching her phone in her hand while driving.
Mary Pat Christie did not tell Richard that she was first lady of New Jersey, according to dash cam footage of the incident.
Richard had been sworn in as an officer three months earlier, a Bernardsville Police Department source said, and was unaware of Mary Pat Christie’s title.
NJ Advance Media’s source added that Richard was informed of her status sometime later by his colleagues.
Mary Pat Christie ultimately did not contest the ticket, and she appeared in Warren Township municipal court in May.
New Jersey’s first lady pleaded guilty to a charge of operating a motor vehicle while using a cell phone and paid a $250 fine.
“[It’s] a non-story, and we’re not offering anything more on it,” Chris Christie’s spokesman Brian Murry said of the event.
Police across New Jersey handed out 15,292 tickets for cell phone use last April, including Mary Pat Christie’s, and 7,003 careless driving summonses.
State Attorney General Christopher Porrino requested and received $1.2 million in federal grants for the dragnet, which ran from April 1 to April 21.
The campaign was aimed at reducing texting and other forms of distracted driving that was behind an eight percent increase in New Jersey’s traffic fatalities last year.
More than 190 police agencies across New Jersey mobilized using National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grants disbursed to help pay for increased enforcement during the span.
Porrino’s office said that traffic fatalities have now fallen more than seven percent compared to the same period in 2016.