Improper Passing in New Jersey

2022-09-29 09:47:11 - Traffic Court

The laws of the road in New Jersey are governed by statutes, and penalties vary based on the severity of an offense. Improper Passing is one of the most damaging tickets a driver can receive under the NJMV Code (Title 39 of the N.J.S.A.). Despite the offense appearing minor, it is actually a four (4) improper passing NJ points violation, which means it will remain on the person’s driving record for a minimum of two years, even with a perfect driving record. Aside from the four points, an improper passing NJ conviction can significantly increase insurance costs and send many drivers over the 12-point limit for a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission suspension as a persisting violator.

The law: NJSA 39:4-85, 39:4-86

As per NJSA 39:4-85, you must pass another vehicle on the left if you are traveling in the same direction. Further, NJSA 39:4-86 states that the following conditions prohibit passing another vehicle at all:

  • On a curve
  • On an incline
  • On narrow bridges
  • At an intersection
  • At a railroad crossing
  • In a tunnel
  • In an underpass
  • In a “No Passing Zone”
  • When a vehicle stopped to let pedestrians cross

The applicable New Jersey law also states that:

  • You cannot pass another vehicle on the left side of a highway unless the left side of the highway is clearly visible and clear of oncoming traffic to allow safe passing for a sufficient distance ahead.
  • Driving to the left of the center of a highway to pass a vehicle proceeding in the same direction is not permitted if the driver’s view along the highway is blocked within a distance of five hundred feet at a crest or on a curve of a highway.
  • Drivers of vehicles are prohibited from passing a “No Passing” line in a zone marked “No Passing” unless instructed to do so by an officer of the road or when the lane he or she is driving on is obstructed or impassable.

Penalties for Improper Passing in NJ

  • A fine of not less than $52 nor more than $202 could be imposed for improper passing (except when a school bus is involved). For a first offense, the fine for passing a school bus with its red lights on is no less than $100. Fines for second offenses start at $250.
  • A driver’s license penalty of 4 points is imposed. Improper passing of a school bus is a 5-point offense. 
  • Auto insurance increase: The more points you have on your record, the higher your insurance rates will be. Getting seven or more points will prevent you from obtaining automobile insurance on the voluntary market.  As an alternative, you must pay more for at-risk coverage under the New Jersey Personal Automobile Insurance Plan (NJPAIP). 
  • $33 courts cost
  • In addition, for every six points or more that you accumulate, a $150 (plus $25 for each point over 6) surcharge will be assessed annually, for 3 years.
  • Drivers with 12 or more points will have their licenses suspended.

Improper Passing tickets rarely result in jail time, unless the ticket is accompanying other egregious or willful acts such as Reckless Driving, Speeding at more than 30 miles per hour over the limit, or a fatal accident. If you don’t have any violations or suspensions for a year, you will receive a three-point reduction on your driving record.  You can reduce three points once every five years by taking an MVC-approved defensive driving course, twice a year by taking a driver improvement program, or three points by taking a probationary driving course. 

What are the benefits of hiring an attorney to fight my improper passing ticket?

You may think that paying fines and accepting points on your record is an adequate solution for some traffic offenses. However, by providing a strong legal defense, you can actually reduce or eliminate penalties, preventing points and fines from accumulating. At Moldovan Law Firm, our experienced defense and traffic ticket attorneys have been defending traffic tickets in New York and New Jersey for years. Get a Free Consultation with an Experienced Improper Passing Ticket Lawyer through our website or by phone at (866) 553-4251.