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Traffic Offenses

Penalties and Fines

Driving is a privilege, not a right. If you break traffic laws, your driving privileges could be suspended or revoked resulting in fines and even imprisonment. The seriousness of your violations – and resulting penalties – are tracked by MVC using a point system.

If you are convicted of a moving violation, MVC will penalize you by adding points to your driving record. You will only get points on your record for moving violations – points are not assessed for parking and other violations. A table is provided for more information on the number of points earned for specific violations.

How do points affect you?

  • If you get six or more points within three years on your current driving record, you will be assessed a surcharge
  • If you get 12 or more points on your current driving record, your license will be suspended. You will receive a notice of scheduled suspension by mail
  • Getting points on your license may also increase your insurance rates. Contact your insurance agent for details

How can I get rid of points on my record?
Although MVC keeps a permanent record of all the points you’ve earned, it is possible to earn point deductions by remaining violation and suspension-free for one year or by taking qualified driving courses approved by MVC.

Note: Your insurance company might not factor these deductions into your insurance rate.

Deduction Points Restrictions
One year with no violations or suspensions -3 Year begins on date of violation or most recent restoration
Defensive Driving Program -2 May be used to subtract points once every five years
Driver Improvement Program -3 May be used to subtract points once every two years
Probationary Driver Program -3  

NJSA point schedule

for the most common violations

NJSA
Section
Offense Points
New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway
27:23–29 Moving against traffic 2
27:23–29 Improper passing 4
27:23–29 Unlawful use of median strip 2
All roads and highways
39:3–20 Operating constructor vehicle in excess of 45 mph 3
39:4–14.3 Operating motorized bicycle on a restricted highway 2
39:4–14.3d More than one person on a motorized bicycle 2
39:4–35 Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk 2
39:4–36 Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk; passing a vehicle yielding to pedestrian in crosswalk 2
39:4– 41 Driving through safety zone 2
39:4–52 Racing on highway 5
39:4–55 Improper action or omission on grades and curves 2
39:4–57 Failure to observe direction of officer 2
39:4–66 Failure to stop vehicle before crossing sidewalk 2
39:4–66.1 Failure to yield to pedestrians or vehicles while entering or leaving highway 2
39:4–66.2 Driving on public or private property to avoid a traffic sign or signal 2
39:4–71 Operating a motor vehicle on a sidewalk 2
39:4–80 Failure to obey direction of officer 2
39:4–81 Failure to observe traffic signals* (Red Light Camera- 0 pts.) 2
  *No points assessed for red light camera violation 0
39:4–82 Failure to keep right 2
39:4–82.1 Improper operating of vehicle on divided highway or divider 2
39:4–83 Failure to keep right at intersection 2
39:4–84 Failure to pass to right of vehicle proceeding in opposite direction 5
39:4–85 Improper passing on right or off roadway 4
39:4–85.1 Wrong way on a one-way street 2
39:4–86 Improper passing in no passing zone 4
39:4–87 Failure to yield to overtaking vehicle 2
39:4–88 Failure to observe traffic lanes 2
39:4–89 Tailgating 5
39:4–90 Failure to yield at intersection 2
39:4–90.1 Failure to use proper entrances to limited access highways 2
39:4–91–92 Failure to yield to emergency vehicles 2
39:4–96 Reckless driving 5
39:4–97 Careless driving 2
39:4–97a Destruction of agricultural or recreational property 2
39:4–97.1 Slow speed blocking traffic 2
39:4–97.2 Driving in an unsafe manner (points only for third or subsequent offense within five years of most recent 39:4-97.2 conviction) 4
39:4–98 Exceeding maximum speed 1-14 mph over limit 2
  Exceeding maximum speed 15-29 mph over limit 4
  Exceeding maximum speed 30 mph or more over limit 5
39:4–105 Failure to stop for traffic light 2
39:4–115 Improper turn at traffic light 3
39:4–119 Failure to stop at flashing red signal 2
39:4–122 Failure to stop for police whistle 2
39:4–123 Improper right or left turn 3
39:4–124 Improper turn from approved turning course 3
39:4–125 Improper u-turn 3
39:4–126 Failure to give proper signal 2
39:4–127 Improper backing or turning in street 2
39:4–127.1 Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing 2
39:4–127.2 Improper crossing of bridge 2
39:4–128 Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing by certain vehicles 2
39:4–128.1 Improper passing of school bus 5
39:4–128.4 Improper passing of frozen dessert truck 4
39:4–129 Leaving the scene of an accident –
no personal injury
2
Personal injury 8
39:4–144 Failure to observe stop or yield signs 2
39:5C–1 Racing on highway 5
39:5D–4 Moving violation committed out-of-state 2

Surcharges

Surcharges are fines assessed by New Jersey Surcharge Violation System (NJSVS). Drivers who have excessive points for traffic violations or have been convicted in court for specific offenses  such as driving while intoxicated (DWI) are liable for Surcharge. Surcharges are in addition to any court fines and/or penalties and are billed yearly for three years.

Why do you get a Surcharge?

Your New Jersey driving record is reviewed every time points or other serious violations are added to your driving record. If you accumulate six or more points within three years from your last posted violation, you will receive a $150 Surcharge plus $25 for each additional point. A points based Surcharge can result in a Surcharge for three years.

Additional violations that will result in a Surcharge due for three years:

  • $100 for unlicensed driver or driver with expired license ($300 total)
  • $250 for driving with a suspended license ($750 total)
  • $100 for failure to insure a moped  ($300 total)
  • $250 for operating an uninsured vehicle  ($750 total)
  • $1,000 for first and second driving while intoxicated (DWI)  ($3,000 total)
  • $1,500 third DWI  (if it occurs within three years last offense) ($4,500 total)
  • $1,000 for refusing to take test to measure blood alcohol concentration  ($3,000 total)

Not paying surcharges?

Drivers failing to pay surcharges are sent a notice indicating when their license will be suspended and another notice confirming suspension for non-payment. Moving out of state or failing to maintain a current address with the MVC does not excuse surcharge debts.  After suspension, surcharges and a $100 restoration fee must be paid to restore the license privilege.  If the surcharge remains unpaid a Certificate of Debt is filed in Superior Court.   The court issues a judgment, which allows the state to collect unpaid surcharges through involuntary means.  The judgment amount (surcharge debt) must be paid before personal property can be transferred or sold.  Judgments include a collection cost and interest charges calculated on the judgment balance.  Unpaid judgments are assigned to collection agencies and law firms.  Credit bureaus are made aware of unpaid accounts.

Commercial Driver License Violations

Your Commercial Driver License (CDL) is at risk if you are convicted of any violations – even those involving non-commercial motor vehicles.

  • Initial DUI conviction in a passenger vehicle will result in a three to 12-month basic driver license suspension and a one-year CDL suspension

Second DUI conviction in a passenger vehicle will result in a two-year basic driver license suspension and a permanently revoked CDL

Auto Insurance Rates

If you are convicted of a traffic violation, your auto insurance rate may go up as well. It will depend on your specific insurance provider’s policy. Many factors can go into the insurer’s decision, including the type of violation and your driving record and accident history. Insurance.com analyzed nearly 500,000 auto insurance quotes and other data and determined typical rate increases that accompany certain traffic violations. This chart may help you to understand the potential rate increase you could face if your traffic ticket leads to a conviction:

Violation Increase
Reckless driving 22%
Driving without a license 18%
Careless driving 16%
Speeding (30 mph over limit) 15%
Improper turn 14%
Improper passing 14%
Tailgating 13%
Speeding (15-29 mph over limit) 12%
Speeding (1-14 mph over limit) 11%

An auto insurance company may ultimately reduce your rate if you complete a defensive driving course or go a certain period of time without a new violation.

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