Driving is freedom: the freedom to go where you want, when you want. But driving is also a dangerous activity that could lead to disastrous accidents. New Jersey drivers often get a bad reputation for being ‘crazy’ or ‘dangerous’ drivers. However, the most common traffic violations cited in New Jersey aren’t even related to accidents or injuries. No matter what kind of traffic violation a driver commits, a New Jersey attorney can help them deal with their tickets, fines, and any necessary court proceedings. Here are the five most common traffic violations you should know about.
1 – Driving or Parking an Unregistered Vehicle
The top traffic violation in New Jersey (and most states) is car registration. The law requires registration for all cars you drive or park. Driving an unregistered car can result in a fine, and continued use of an unregistered car can lead to worsening legal concerns.
It is not illegal to drive a car that is registered to someone other than yourself. It’s not uncommon for families and friends to share the use of a car, and it’s impossible for an officer to know the car isn’t yours without pulling you over. However, driving a car registered to someone else does become an issue when the car is involved in an accident or reported stolen.
You will only face legal troubles if the person on the registration reports the car stolen. But if the car is in an accident, you can face insurance difficulties. Car insurance links to car registration. If a different person was driving the car and had an accident, the compensation and coverage can change. Having a New Jersey attorney on your side can help you determine the best way to deal with your insurance after an accident.
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2 – Driving with an Expired License
All drivers are legally required to have a valid driver’s license when operating a vehicle. You must renew your license every few years to ensure that all of your information is up to date and that no new medical issues have occurred that could influence your ability to drive. There are also different types of licenses that only allow for driving under certain conditions, such as during the day or with another licensed driver in the passenger seat. Failing to have a valid license or operating outside of your license restrictions can result in a hefty fine.
It is also important to update any name or address changes as soon as possible. You can face fines for failure to update your driver’s license if the information doesn’t match police records. This can sometimes be a misunderstanding, which a New Jersey attorney can help you fight and clear up. If you don’t want to have a new license made for a name or address change, you can request a change of name or address card that can help avoid these fines.
3 – Failure to Wear a Seatbelt
Seat belt laws differ from state to state. New Jersey requires all passengers in all seats to be wearing their seatbelts. However, there is a difference between front seat and back seat laws. Failure to wear a seatbelt in the front seats of a car is considered a primary offense. An officer is likely to pull the car over and issue a ticket if seatbelts are not worn in the front seats. However, failure to wear a seatbelt in the back seats of a car is considered a secondary offense. Officers are less likely to pull the car over for this alone. They often only issue tickets if another traffic law is violated.
In New Jersey, adult passengers are responsible for their own seatbelts. Tickets are issued to the passengers not wearing a seatbelt. However, minors are the responsibility of the driver. If a minor is found not wearing a seatbelt, the driver is issued the ticket, and the fine is usually higher. Making sure everyone is wearing their seatbelt is the best way to ensure the highest level of safety in an accident and to avoid a common traffic violation fee.
4 – Reckless Driving Considered Traffic Violations
Reckless driving is the main cause of fatal car accidents in America. When a driver is reckless, they are purposefully disregarding traffic laws and intentionally putting themselves and others in danger. Examples of reckless driving include:
– Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
– Driving at a speed of 20mph over the posted speed limit or over 80mph anywhere
– Weaving in and out of traffic lanes
Reckless driving causes the most injuries and deaths of any type of car accident. A driver who does not cause an accident while recklessly driving will face heavy fines. Drivers who do cause an accident while recklessly driving are likely to face jail time, if they survive the accident.
5 – Careless Driving is a Traffic Violation
Careless driving can lead to accidents as well, but while reckless driving is a criminal offense, careless driving is a civil citation. When a driver is careless, they are unintentionally violating traffic laws. This could put others in harm, but not as often as reckless driving. Examples of careless driving include:
– Driving above the speed limit (no more than 20mph over)
– Running a stop sign or red light
– Failing to yield when merging into traffic
Careless drivers are often issued a ticket and given a fine. They can also face jail time and other legal concerns if their careless driving causes an accident.
How a New Jersey Attorney Can Help with Traffic Violations Charges
If you find yourself with a ticket for a traffic violation, a New Jersey attorney can help. Whether it’s fighting the ticket in court, getting insurance to pay for an unregistered driver, or proving fault in an accident, attorney Leon Matchin is here to help. You can contact him via phone at (732) 887-2479 or email at [email protected] to set up a free consultation about your case.