There’s nothing like the flash of blue and red lights and a sudden wailing siren to start your pulse racing and send an unwelcome jolt of adrenaline coursing through your body. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Health Watch, the average American spends over an hour driving each day. Who hasn’t sped up a little to get past a bulky, slow-moving truck, switched lanes without using a turn signal, or zoned out in the passing lane instead of returning to the right lane? Unfortunately, those violations are among three of New Jersey’s top ten most common traffic violations.
Non-moving traffic violations
Driving without liability insurance
First-time offenders must pay a fine up to $300 and up to $1,000 of community service, and DMV surcharges of $250 a year for three years. Offenders will also receive a license suspension for a mandatory 12 months.
Driving while suspended
Many motorists don’t realize that their licenses are suspended until they’re stopped for a moving violation or go to renew their licenses. Licenses are suspended for various reasons including failure to pay parking tickets, old tickets, or surcharges.
Unlicensed drivers face fines of up to $500 and imprisonment for up to 60 days. They are also ineligible for a license for 180 days.
Moving traffic violations
If convicted of careless driving, you’ll pay a fine between $50 and $200, have two points assessed against your NJ license, and you could face jail time up to 15 days.
If you’re a first-time offender, you could be imprisoned for up to 60 days in the county or municipal jail and/or pay a fine between $50 and $200. Up to six points could also be assessed against your NJ license.
Tailgating (or Following Too Closely)
This fine carries a penalty of $85 or, if you’re in a 65mph/Construction Zone, $140 and also assesses a five-point penalty on your license.
The higher over the limit you’re speeding, the more points will be assessed against your license. If you exceed the maximum speed 1 – 14 mph over the limit, it’s two points. Additionally when you exceed the maximum speed by 15 – 29 mph over the limit, it’s four points. Finally if you exceed the maximum speed by 30 mph or more over the limit, it’s five points. Financial penalties vary significantly.
Improper lane change
An improper lane change will result in a two-point assessment against your license. You also can receive a fine between $50 and $200 or imprisonment up to 15 days, possible both.
Improper passing will result in a two-point assessment against your license and a fine between $50 and $200 or imprisonment up to 15 days, or both.
Failure to observe a traffic signal
If you plead guilty or are convicted, the Court must fine you between $50 and $200 plus court costs of $33. You also may go to prison for up to 15 days.
Traffic violations are most often resolved by a plea deal between the defendant (the driver) and the prosecution. The court must approve all plea deals which usually result in reduced charges in exchange for a guilty plea.