Understanding the laws that govern driving in New Jersey


New Jersey driving laws and traffic laws are enforced by the “Motor Vehicle Commission.” The Motor Vehicle Security and Customer Service Act replaced the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in 2003. The following paragraphs will give you some of the laws that are required for you to follow while driving.

  1. Speed Limits
    • Residential  areas and Suburban areas: 35mph
    • Business areas and some residential zones: 25mph
    • Turnpikes and some highways: 65mph
    • All Interstate Roads: 55mph
    • Fines will be doubled in areas which  are posted as “ safe corridor area”
    • 65mph is the standard speed limit, you will be fined if you increase the speed by 10mph
    • The fines could range up to $52 to $202 and double in construction zones.
    • Speeding is given points ranging from 2 points to 5 points. For example, if you are driving 14mph over the posted speed limit, you will have 2 points. If you drive over 30mph of the posted speed limit, you will gain 5 points and your license may be suspended.
    • If you have no speeding ticket consecutively for 12 months, you can get 3points subtracted from your record.
    • If you complete the MVS Driver Improvement Program which is offered to aggressive drives, you can have 2 points subtracted.
  2. Seat belts
    • Children under the age of 8 years or children irrespective of age who weigh 80Ibs should be restrained to a booster seat.
    • The Child Restraint Law states that every child between the ages of 8-18 years must wear seat belts irrespective of where there are seated in the car.
    • All front-seat passengers in cars, SUV’s and other vehicles equipped with a seat belt, must wear a seat belt irrespective of their age.
  3. Cell Phone Laws
    • The law which came into force in 2004 is called the “Hands-free Law” which makes the use of wireless hand-held devices like cell-phones a primary violation.
    • You can use a hands-free device which will not interfere in your driving.
    • You can be charged up to $100 for violating this law.
    • This law also prohibits the use of text messaging while driving.
  4. Alcohol  Laws
    • The .08 level of Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) restriction applies even to the state of New Jersey as that is the legal impairment level in the U.S
    • New Jersey has lower BAC levels for commercial drivers and minors under 21 than any other state.
    • You will be charged with $250-$400 if you are found drunken driving the first time in addition to 30 days in jail and 3 months of license suspension. These charges will almost double if you keep repeating this behavior.
  5. Traffic Laws
    • If you fail to follow a traffic signal, you will get 2 points for this violation and be charged up to $52 to $202.
    • If you follow a vehicle too closely without leaving enough space in between, you will have committed the crime of tailgating which will result in the fine of $52-$202 and your license could get suspended up to 30 days.
    • The right Turn on red signal can only be taken after you have come to a complete stop.
    • High occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes are available for vehicles car-pooling to improve and ease traffic flow in high-traffic areas.