New Jersey Traffic Ticket Laws
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The law firm of Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC handles traffic tickets in Union County and throughout New Jersey. The firm’s criminal defense lawyers have many years of experience handling traffic related matters. Casey Woodruff, Gary Grabas and Robert Rowbotham are all former Prosecutors. Jon M. Bramnick is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney with over 30 years of experience.
The traffic infractions listed below are commonly handled by our criminal defense attorneys in Municipal Courts throughout New Jersey. A conviction of any of the offenses listed will result in the assessment of points by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. The accumulation of motor vehicle points can increase your insurance rates and eventually result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
39:4-35. Pedestrian’s right to complete crossing
No operator of a vehicle shall fail to give the right-of-way to a pedestrian at a crosswalk, whether marked or unmarked, where the pedestrian having started to cross with the proper signal finds himself still within the intersection when the signal changes.
Amended by L.1981, c. 220, s. 2, eff. July 20, 1981.
39:4-36 Driver to yield to pedestrian, exceptions; violations, penalties.
39:4-36. a. The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk or within any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, except at crosswalks when the movement of traffic is being regulated by police officers or traffic control signals, or where otherwise prohibited by municipal, county, or State regulation, and except where a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing has been provided, but no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield. Nothing contained herein shall relieve a pedestrian from using due care for his safety.
Whenever any vehicle is stopped to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
Every pedestrian upon a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.
Nothing contained herein shall relieve a driver from the duty to exercise due care for the safety of any pedestrian upon a roadway.
b. A person violating this section shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine to be imposed by the court in the amount of $100. The court may also impose a term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 days.
c. Of each fine imposed and collected pursuant to subsection b. of this section, $50 shall be forwarded to the State Treasurer who shall annually deposit the moneys into the “Pedestrian Safety Enforcement and Education Fund” created by section 1 of P.L.2005, c.86 (C.39:4-36.2)
Amended 1951, c.23, s.26; 1981, c.220, s.3; 2005, c.86, s.2
39:4-57. Observance of directions of officers
Drivers of vehicles, street cars or horses shall at all times comply with any direction, by voice or hand, of a member of a police department, a peace officer, or the director, when enforcing a provision of this chapter.
Amended by L.1951, c. 23, p. 78, s. 33; L.1983, c. 403, s. 15, eff. Dec. 23, 1983.
39:4-80. Traffic control by officers
When a traffic or police officer is stationed in a highway for the purpose of directing traffic, he may regulate and control traffic at that point, and all drivers of vehicles shall obey his orders and directions, notwithstanding anything contained in this article.
39:4-81 Traffic signals, observance; rule at nonoperational signals.
39:4-81. a. The driver of every vehicle, the motorman of every street car and every pedestrian shall obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable thereto, placed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer.
b. When, by reason of a power failure or other malfunction, a traffic control signal at an intersection is not illuminated, the driver of a vehicle or street car shall, with respect to that intersection, observe the requirement for a stop intersection, as provided in R.S.39:4-144.
Amended 1951, c.23, s.40; 2004, c.92.
39:4-82. Keeping to right
Upon all highways of sufficient width, except upon one-way streets, the driver of a vehicle shall drive it on the right half of the roadway. He shall drive a vehicle as closely as possible to the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway, unless it is impracticable to travel on that side of the roadway, and except when overtaking and passing another vehicle subject to the provisions of sections 39:4-84 and 39:4-85 of this Title.
Amended by L.1951, c. 23, p. 81, s. 43.
39:4-82.1. Two roadway highways; driving upon
Whenever any highway has been divided into two roadways by leaving an intervening space or by a physical barrier or clearly indicated dividing section so constructed so as to impede vehicular traffic, every vehicle shall be driven only upon the right-hand roadway and no vehicle shall be driven over, across or within any such dividing space, barrier or section, except through an appropriate opening in such physical barrier or dividing section or space or at a cross over or intersection established by public authority.
L.1951, c. 23, p. 81, s. 41.
39:4-85.1 Designation of one-way traffic.
42. The commissioner with respect to highways under his jurisdiction may by regulation, and local and county authorities with respect to highways under their jurisdiction may by ordinance or resolution designate any such highway or any separate roadway of such highway for one-way traffic and shall erect appropriate signs giving notice thereon.
Upon a highway or roadway properly designated and signed for one-way traffic, a vehicle shall be driven only in the direction designated.
L.1951,c.23,s.42; amended 2003, c.13, s.50.
39:4-87. Overtaken vehicle to give way
The driver of a vehicle on a highway, about to be overtaken and passed by another vehicle, approaching from the rear, shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle on suitable and audible signal being given by the driver of the overtaking vehicle, and shall not increase the speed of his vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.
39:4-88. Traffic on marked lanes
When a roadway has been divided into clearly marked lanes for traffic, drivers of vehicles shall obey the following regulations:
a. A vehicle shall normally be driven in the lane nearest the right-hand edge or curb of the roadway when that lane is available for travel, except when overtaking another vehicle or in preparation for a left turn.
b. A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from that lane until the driver has first ascertained that the movement can be made with safety.
c. Upon a highway which is divided into 3 lanes, a vehicle shall not be driven in the center lane except when overtaking or passing another vehicle or in preparation for a left turn or unless the center lane is at the time allocated for traffic moving in the direction the vehicle is proceeding and is signposted to give notice of that allocation.
d. The State Highway Commissioner may by regulation or local authorities may by resolution or ordinance with respect to highways under their jurisdiction designate right-hand lanes for slow moving traffic and inside lanes for traffic moving at the speed designated for the district as provided under this chapter, and when the lanes are signposted or marked to give notice of the designation a vehicle may be driven in any lane allocated to traffic moving in the direction in which it is proceeding, but when traveling within the inside lanes the vehicle shall be driven at approximately the speed authorized in such lanes and speed shall not be decreased unnecessarily so as to block, hinder or retard traffic.
e. When such roadway had been divided in such a manner that there are 3 or more lanes for traffic in any one direction, no truck of 10,000 pounds registered gross weight or over shall be driven in the farthest left-hand lane, except when and to the extent necessary to prepare for a left turn, or when necessary to enter or leave such roadway by entrance or exit to or from the left lane or when reasonably necessary in response to emergency conditions.
Amended by L.1951, c. 23, p. 83, s. 47; L.1968, c. 432, s. 1, eff. Feb. 11, 1969.
39:4-89. Following; space between trucks
The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of the preceding vehicle and the traffic upon, and condition of, the highway.
The driver of a motor truck when traveling upon a highway, outside of a business or residence district, shall not follow another motor truck within one hundred feet, but this shall not be construed to prevent one motor truck overtaking and passing another.
39:4-96. Reckless driving; punishment
39:4-96. A person who drives a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of reckless driving and be punished by imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for a period of not more than 60 days, or by a fine of not less than $50.00 or more than $200.00, or both.
On a second or subsequent conviction he shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three months, or by a fine of not less than $100 or more than $500, or both.
Amended 1955,c.220,s.1; 1982,c.45,s.3; 1995,c.70,s.2.
39:4-97. Careless driving
39:4-97. A person who drives a vehicle carelessly, or without due caution and circumspection, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of careless driving.
Amended 1951,c.23,s.54; 1955,c.220,s.2; 1995,c.70,s.3.
39:4-98. Rates of speed
39:4-98. Rates of speed. Subject to the provisions of R.S.39:4-96 and R.S.39:4-97 and except in those instances where a lower speed is specified in this chapter, it shall be prima facie lawful for the driver of a vehicle to drive it at a speed not exceeding the following:
a. Twenty-five miles per hour, when passing through a school zone during recess, when the presence of children is clearly visible from the roadway, or while children are going to or leaving school, during opening or closing hours;
b. (1) Twenty-five miles per hour in any business or residential district;
(2) Thirty-five miles per hour in any suburban business or residential district;
c. Fifty miles per hour in all other locations, except as otherwise provided in the “Sixty-Five MPH Speed Limit Implementation Act,” pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1997, c.415 (C.39:4-98.3 et al.).
Whenever it shall be determined upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that any speed hereinbefore set forth is greater or less than is reasonable or safe under the conditions found to exist at any intersection or other place or upon any part of a highway, the Commissioner of Transportation, with reference to State highways, may by regulation and municipal or county authorities, with reference to highways under their jurisdiction, may by ordinance, in the case of municipal authorities, or by ordinance or resolution, in the case of county authorities, subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Transportation, except as otherwise provided in R.S.39:4-8, designate a reasonable and safe speed limit thereat which, subject to the provisions of R.S.39:4-96 and R.S.39:4-97, shall be prima facie lawful at all times or at such times as may be determined, when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected at such intersection, or other place or part of the highway. Appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limits authorized under the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection b. and subsection c. of this section may be erected if the commissioner or the municipal or county authorities, as the case may be, so determine they are necessary. Appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limits authorized under the provisions of subsection a. and paragraph (2) of subsection b. of this section shall be erected by the commissioner or the municipal or county authorities, as appropriate.
The driver of every vehicle shall, consistent with the requirements of this section, drive at an appropriate reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade crossing, when approaching and going around a curve, when approaching a hill crest, when traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway, and when special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions.
The Commissioner of Transportation shall cause the erection and maintenance of signs at such points of entrance to the State as are deemed advisable, setting forth the lawful rates of speed, the wording of which shall be within his discretion.
Amended 1939, c.211; 1942, c.325,(1942, c.325 repealed 1946, c.8); 1951, c.23, s.55; 1983, c.227, s.2; 1993, c.315, s.2; 1997, c.415, s.1.
39:4-99. Exceeding speed limitations; speed specified in charge
It shall be prima facie unlawful for a person to exceed any of the foregoing speed limitations or any speed limitation in effect as established by authority of section 39:4-98 of this Title.
In every charge of violation of section 39:4-98 of this Title, the complaint and the summons or notice to appear, shall specify the speed at which the defendant is alleged to have driven and the speed which this article declares shall be prima facie lawful at the time and place of the alleged violation.
Amended by L.1951, c. 23, p. 88, s. 56.
39:4-105. Color system
Traffic signals or signal devices shall conform strictly with the provisions of this article.
A three-color system shall be used; red, amber and green. Green means permission for traffic to go, subject to the safety of others or the specific directions of an officer, official sign or special signal. Red means traffic to stop before entering the intersection or crosswalk and remain standing until green is shown alone, unless otherwise specifically directed to go by an officer, official sign or special signal. Amber, or yellow, when shown alone following green means traffic to stop before entering the intersection or nearest crosswalk, unless when the amber appears the vehicle or street car is so close to the intersection that with suitable brakes it cannot be stopped in safety. A distance of fifty feet from the intersection is considered a safe stopping distance for a speed of twenty miles per hour, and vehicles and street cars if within that distance when the amber appears alone, and which cannot be stopped with safety, may proceed across the intersection or make a right or left turn unless the turning movement is specifically limited.
All other uses of green, red, amber or yellow lights so located as to be confused with traffic signals shall be discontinued.
39:4-115. Making right or left turn
The driver of a vehicle or the motorman of a streetcar a. intending to turn to the right or left at an intersection where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals or by a traffic or police officer, shall proceed to make either turn with proper care to avoid accidents and, except as provided in b. below, only upon the “Go” signal unless otherwise directed by a traffic or police officer, an official sign or special signal; or b. intending to turn right at an intersection where traffic is controlled by a traffic control signal shall, unless an official sign of the State, municipality, or county authority having jurisdiction over the intersection prohibits the same, proceed to make the turn upon a “Stop” or “Caution” signal with proper care to avoid accidents after coming to a full stop, observing traffic in all directions and yielding to all pedestrians and other traffic traveling in a direction in which the turn will be made. Both the approach for and the turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway, unless such intersection is otherwise posted.
Amended by L.1976, c. 46, s. 1.
39:4-123. Right and left hand turns
Except as otherwise provided in this article, the driver of a vehicle intending to turn at an intersection shall do so as follows:
(a) Right turns. Both the approach for a right turn and a right turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
(b) Left turns on two-way roadways. At any intersection where traffic is permitted to move in both directions on each roadway entering the intersection, an approach for a left turn shall be made in that portion of the right half of the roadway nearest the center line thereof and by passing to the right of such center line where it enters the intersection and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection to the right of the center line of the roadway being entered. Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made in that portion of the intersection to the left of the center of the intersection.
(c) Left turns on other than two-way roadways. At any intersection where traffic is restricted to one direction on one or more of the roadways, the driver of a vehicle intending to turn left at any such intersection shall approach the intersection in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the direction of travel of such vehicle and after entering the intersection the left turn shall be made so as to leave the intersection, as nearly as practicable, in the left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in such direction upon the roadway being entered.
Amended by L.1951, c. 23, p. 91, s. 65.
39:4-125. Turning on curve, grade or place where view obstructed or State highway marked with “no U turn” sign
Turning on curve, grade or place where view obstructed or State highway marked with “no U turn” sign. The driver of a vehicle shall not turn such vehicle around so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any curve or upon the approach to or near the crest of a grade or at any place upon a highway as defined in R.S. 39:1-1 where the view of such vehicle is obstructed within a distance of five hundred feet along the highway in either direction; and no such vehicle shall be turned around so as to proceed in the opposite direction on a highway which shall be conspicuously marked with signs stating “no U turn”.
Amended by L. 1987, c. 81, s. 1
39:4-129 Action in case of accident.
39:4-129. (a) The driver of any vehicle, knowingly involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close thereto as possible but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene until he has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (c) of this section. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. Any person who shall violate this subsection shall be fined not less than $2,500 nor more than $5,000, or be imprisoned for a period of 180 days, or both. The term of imprisonment required by this subsection shall be imposed only if the accident resulted in death or injury to a person other than the driver convicted of violating this section.
In addition, any person convicted under this subsection shall forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of one year from the date of his conviction for the first offense and for a subsequent offense shall thereafter permanently forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State.
(b) The driver of any vehicle knowingly involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle, including his own vehicle, or other property which is attended by any person shall immediately stop his vehicle at the scene of such accident or as close thereto as possible, but shall then forthwith return to and in every event shall remain at the scene of such accident until he has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (c) of this section. Every such stop shall be made without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. Any person who shall violate this subsection shall be fined not less than $200 nor more than $400, or be imprisoned for a period of not more than 30 days, or both, for the first offense, and for a subsequent offense, shall be fined not less than $400 nor more than $600, or be imprisoned for a period of not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days or both.
In addition, a person who violates this subsection shall, for a first offense, forfeit the right to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of six months from the date of conviction, and for a period of one year from the date of conviction for any subsequent offense.
(c) The driver of any vehicle knowingly involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person or damage to any vehicle or property shall give his name and address and exhibit his operator’s license and registration certificate of his vehicle to the person injured or whose vehicle or property was damaged and to any police officer or witness of the accident, and to the driver or occupants of the vehicle collided with and render to a person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying of that person to a hospital or a physician for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that the treatment is necessary or is requested by the injured person.
In the event that none of the persons specified are in condition to receive the information to which they otherwise would be entitled under this subsection, and no police officer is present, the driver of any vehicle involved in such accident after fulfilling all other requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, insofar as possible on his part to be performed, shall forthwith report such accident to the nearest office of the local police department or of the county police of the county or of the State Police and submit thereto the information specified in this subsection.
(d) The driver of any vehicle which knowingly collides with or is knowingly involved in an accident with any vehicle or other property which is unattended resulting in any damage to such vehicle or other property shall immediately stop and shall then and there locate and notify the operator or owner of such vehicle or other property of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle or other property or, in the event an unattended vehicle is struck and the driver or owner thereof cannot be immediately located, shall attach securely in a conspicuous place in or on such vehicle a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle doing the striking or, in the event other property is struck and the owner thereof cannot be immediately located, shall notify the nearest office of the local police department or of the county police of the county or of the State Police and in addition shall notify the owner of the property as soon as the owner can be identified and located. Any person who violates this subsection shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
(e) The driver of any motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person or damage in the amount of $250.00 or more to any vehicle or property shall be presumed to have knowledge that he was involved in such accident, and such presumption shall be rebuttable in nature.
For purposes of this section, it shall not be a defense that the operator of the motor vehicle was unaware of the existence or extent of personal injury or property damage caused by the accident as long as the operator was aware that he was involved in an accident.
Amended 1940, c.147; 1967, c.189, s.1; 1977, c.407; 1978, c.180; 1979, c.463, s.1; 1994, c.183, s.1; 2003, c.55, s.1.
39:4-144. Stopping or yielding right of way before entering stop or yield intersections
No driver of a vehicle or street car shall enter upon or cross an intersecting street marked with a “stop” sign unless he has first brought his vehicle or street car to a complete stop at a point within 5 feet of the nearest crosswalk or stop line marked upon the pavement at the near side of the intersecting street and shall proceed only after yielding the right of way to all traffic on the intersecting street which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard. No driver of a vehicle or street car shall enter upon or cross an intersecting street marked with a “yield right of way” sign without first slowing to a reasonable speed for existing conditions and visibility, stopping if necessary, and the driver shall yield the right of way to all traffic on the intersecting street which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard; unless, in either case, he is otherwise directed to proceed by a traffic or police officer or traffic control signal, or as provided in section 39:4-145 of this Title.
Amended by L.1956, c. 107, p. 486, s. 5; L.1958, c. 114, p. 588, s. 4.
If you have received a traffic ticket in New Jersey that will result in the assessment of motor vehicle points to your driving record, it is important to consult with a New Jersey traffic ticket lawyer. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys in connection with a traffic related matter, you can reach us at (908) 322-7000. We are available 24 hours a day.