The end-of-year holiday season is one of the busiest travel times annually. Visiting family, going on vacation, or even staying home can cause traffic to increase during the holidays. During this time of year, it becomes more important than ever to drive safely. Getting a traffic ticket – especially for a more severe violation where you could end up in jail – puts a damper on any holiday celebration. Knowing and understanding important New Jersey traffic laws is essential to a smooth holiday trip.
As you set off on your holiday travel, keep these five traffic laws in mind to avoid receiving a traffic ticket on the road. Plus, remember that fines for traffic violations double in construction and school zones.
Check Your Insurance Before Driving
Driving without insurance is an easily avoidable traffic ticket in New Jersey. Before embarking on your holiday travel, check and make sure your insurance is active and up-to-date. Legally, New Jersey drivers must have a minimum of $15,000 bodily injury coverage, with a maximum of $30,000 per incident. The law also requires a minimum coverage of $5,000 for personal property damage.
If you are driving without insurance, be aware that receiving a traffic violation for lack of insurance can have severe penalties. Fines up to $1,000, community service, DMV surcharges for multiple years following the incident, and license suspension are potential punishments. Avoid receiving a ticket for driving without insurance by ensuring your coverage is current and covers the legally required limits.
Keep Your Car’s Speed Under Control
Going over the speed limit is easy when you’re hurrying to finish holiday shopping or arrive at your destination. But keeping your vehicle’s speed at or below the speed limit is critical during the holidays. Traffic enforcement is often heightened during the holiday season as local officers are mindful of increased traffic and reckless driving. Inclement weather is possible during the holidays, making driving the speed limit even more crucial for safety.
New Jersey traffic law violations for speeding include fines of more than $200 and up to five points on your license. Gaining points on your license can lead to eventual suspension, which can take years to reverse. Because of that, it is best to avoid driving over the speed limit, especially during the holiday season. Take advantage of your car’s cruise control function if you tend to speed often.
Refresh Your Memory on the Rules for Proper Lane Changes
Being aware when changing lanes is key to avoiding a ticket and driving safely. Improper lane changes are another common violation of New Jersey traffic law. Drivers who receive a ticket for unsafe lane changes can face fines up to $200, 2 points on their driver’s license, and up to 15 days in jail. To avoid being ticketed for unsafe lane changes, prepare for potential lane changes well in advance and be aware of possible violations when crossing solid lines. Lane patterns are there to increase safety for all drivers on the road. Keep these in mind while driving to avoid penalties for illegal lane changes.
Avoid Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is a traffic violation offense that is goes with a DUI/DWI. However, many people receive tickets strictly for reckless driving. Penalties for reckless driving can include up to sixty days in county jail, fines up to $200, and potential license suspension. The busy holiday season typically results in increased traffic control and police activity. Officers will be observing the road for drivers who are weaving, texting, or behaving aggressively on the road. During busy travel times when many cars on the road lead to heavy traffic, it is essential to remain calm and not engage in reckless driving.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
New Jersey traffic law requires wearing a seatbelt when operating a motor vehicle. Not wearing a seatbelt is a common traffic violation in New Jersey and is easily avoided. Make it a habit to check your seatbelt – and those of others in the car – before driving. Although this violation is a zero-point offense, drivers can still receive fines for not wearing a seatbelt.
Additionally, increased traffic on the road and increased chances of inclement weather can lead to a higher likelihood of accidents. Seatbelts are proven to minimize injury when auto accidents happen. Involvement in an accident can also include receiving traffic violations for more severe offenses, such as reckless driving. Wear your seatbelt when driving to reduce your chances of being seriously injured in an accident.
Need a New Jersey Traffic Law Attorney? Know Who to Call For Your Traffic Violation Defense
Receiving a traffic ticket can happen to anyone. If you or a loved one gets a traffic violation this holiday season, an experienced defense attorney can help argue your case in a court of law. Leon Matchin has been representing clients with traffic violations for more than ten years. Throughout the whole process, Leon will be there to help build your argument for your traffic violation case.
No matter which traffic violation you receive, having a relationship with a lawyer you trust can be beneficial. Leon draws upon his experience to advocate for his clients. Call The Law Offices of Leon Matchin for your free consultation at (732) 887-2479 or email [email protected].