Category Archives: moving violations
Let’s discuss the New Jersey turn signal law. New Jersey’s rules regarding signaling before starting, turning or stopping require a driver to give an appropriate signal before turning. Not only does the rule require a NJ driver to use their turn signal one-hundred (100) feet before a turn, N.J.S.A. 39:4-126 also prohibits a vehicle from turning left, right, forward or back until such movement can be made with safety. While the NJ signaling before turning rule may seem simple, the consequences of being found guilty for failing to signal results in two (2) points towards your driving record. Thus, it is important to know the rule and abide by the rule.
Tickets for not Using Your Turn Signal
Over the past 35 years, our law firm has represented hundreds of clients who received New Jersey traffic tickets, including for failure to signal before starting, turning or stopping. Some of these traffic violations, i.e., failing to signal before starting, turning or stopping (N.J.S.A. 39:4-126), involve the imposition of motor vehicle driving points, payment of fines, surcharges and costs. Of the penalties, the most typical concern centers around the imposition of motor vehicle points because points can lead to an increase in automobile insurance premiums and, if points accrue to the threshold, they can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Accordingly, it is important to speak with an attorney before you plead guilty to any motor vehicle violation.
Penalties for Violating N.J.S.A. 39:4-126 (not using your turn signal)
A person convicted of a failure to give proper signal in New Jersey is subject to a fine of $85.00 and is subject to two (2) motor vehicle penalty points for a first offense.
Our attorneys can discuss your options, as well as, appear with you in municipal court. Due to the potential penalties for a traffic violation or ticket, you may incur fines, points on your driver’s license record, surcharges and costs, all of which are reasons to speak with an experienced attorney in handling these matters.
Let’s explore NJ rules regarding using a cell phone while driving. In this day and age, your cell phone is one of the few things you never leave home without. It allows us to stay in touch 24/7 with family, friends and work. Unfortunately, a lot of motorists use are using a cell phone while driving. Use of your cell phone is broadly defined to include talking, texting and the like.
I’m sure you have seen it every day on your commute to and from work. Not only can it distract someone who is driving and lead to an accident, it can also subject a person to motor vehicle fines, points and driver’s license suspensions.
In this article, I will discuss, N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3, commonly known as a “cell phone while driving violation.”
N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3 (cell phone while driving) provides:
“(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 hands-free wireless telephone or the electronic communication device is used hands-free…”
The key component to remember in this portion of the statute is that if you are driving a motor vehicle on a public road/highway and you are using a cell phone/electronic communication device it needs to be hands-free. If not, there is a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3.
Hands-free means the phone has an internal feature or function, or that the phone is equipped with a phone attachment whereby a user can engage in a conversation without the use of their hands
This statute does contain certain limited exceptions to this prohibition. Those exceptions are as follows:
“(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 … another motor vehicle who is driving in a reckless, careless or otherwise unsafe manner or who appears to be driving under the influence…”
Penalties for Violating N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.3 (cell phone while driving)
- First offense – a fine of $200.00 to $400.00. No motor vehicle penalty points.
- Second offense – a fine of $400.00 to $600.00. No motor vehicle penalty points.
Third or subsequent offense – a fine of $600.00 to $800.00. Three (3) motor vehicle points are assessed. The Court, in its discretion, may order a license suspension for a period of 90 days.
A cell phone while driving conviction that occurs more than ten (10) years after a prior conviction for the same offense, will not be considered a subsequent offense for sentencing purposes.
Before you plead guilty to any motor vehicle violation and incur fines and possible suspension of your driving privileges, schedule an appointment with an attorney experienced in handling these matters.