Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law and litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters. He is Co Chair of the ABA Criminal Law Committee, GP and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htm

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,

2053 Woodbridge Avenue,

Edison, NJ 08817,

(732) 572-0500,

www.njlaws.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Speed Law in New Jersey

Speed Law in New Jersey

More details from http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/enforce/speedlaws501/toc/njspeed.pdf

JURISDICTION: NEW JERSEY
This chapter summarizes New Jersey State statutes related to speed.
General Reference: New Jersey Statutes Annotated and New Jersey Administrative Code
(NJAC)


Basis for a Speed Law Violation:


Basic Speed Rule: A person shall drive a vehicle at an appropriate reduced rate of speed when
special hazard exist with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason
of weather or highway condition.1 Required reduced rates of speed also
includes (1) approaching and crossing an intersection or railway grade
crossing, (2) approaching and going around a curve, (3) approaching a hill
crease and (4) traveling upon any narrow or winding roadway. '39:4-98
(&3)


Statutory Speed Limit:
See Other below.
I. 65 MPH on selected portions of State eligible public highways2 as
determined by the State Commissioner of Transportation in consultation
with the State attorney general, the N.J. Highway Authority and the N.J.
Transportation Authority ''39:4-98.4 & 39:4-98.5
II. It is prima facie unlawful for a person to exceed the following speed
limits. '39:4-98
1) 55 MPH on all other highways '39:4-98 (&1)
2) 35 MPH in suburban business or residential district '39:4-98 (&1)
3) 25 MPH in a (non-suburban) business or residential district '39:4-98
(&1)
4) 25 MPH either when passing through a school zone during recess, while
children are visible from the highway or when children are either going to
or leaving a school during opening and closing hours. '39:4-98 (&1)


Posted (Maximum) Speed Limit: I. Based on engineering and traffic investigations, the State Commissioner
of Transportation on State highways or local governments on highways
under their jurisdiction, may increase or decrease the above speed limits.
These new limits will be the prima facie lawful speed limits.3 ''39:4-8(b)
& 39:4-98 (&2)
II. The State Highway Commissioner or a local government on highways
under their jurisdiction may designate the right-hand lanes of


1I. On highways under the jurisdiction of the South Jersey Transportation, New Jersey Turnpike or the New Jersey Highway Authorities,
a person shall operate a vehicle at a careful and prudent speed, having due regard to the rights and safety of others and to the traffic, surface
and width of the highway and any other conditions then existing; no person shall operate a vehicle at a speed as to endanger life, limb or
property. ''27:12B-18(c), 27:23-27 & 27:25A-21(c) II. On highways under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey, persons shall not operate a vehicle at a speed so as to endanger unreasonably or to be likely to endanger unreasonably persons or
property. ''32:1-154.3 & 32:1-154.18(2)
2An Aeligible public highway@ is a Apublic highway@ which includes Apublic roads, streets, expressways, freeways, parkways, motorways and
boulevards, including bridges, tunnels, overpasses, underpasses, interchanges....@ '27:1B-3(l) Public highways, under the jurisdiction of either
counties or municipalities, are not eligible for the 65 MPH speed limit. '39:4-98.4 (&3)
3Via an emergency order, the State Commissioner of Transportation may establish speed limits for up to 60 days on any public highway
based on emergent conditions such as construction work, dangerous conditions, extreme congestion or traffic problems, imminent peril or
imminent risk to motorists or to the public safety. '39:4-98.9
Basis for a Speed Law Violation:
(continued)


Posted (Maximum) Speed Limit: (continued) traffic for slow moving vehicles and inside lanes for traffic moving at the
designated speed. '39:4-88(d)
III. The South Jersey Transportation, New Jersey Turnpike and the New
Jersey Highway Authorities may establish speed limits on the highways
NEW JERSEY


under their respective jurisdictions. ''27:12B-18(c) & (e), 27:23-27 (&1)
and 27:25A-21(c) & (e)


Minimum Speed Limit: I. No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede
or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. ''27:12B-18(d),
27:23-27 (&2), 27:25A-21(d) & 39:4-97.1
II. When driving on the inside lane of a highway which has been
designated for the use of traffic proceeding at the posted speed limit, a
person shall drive at approximately the speed authorized and shall not
decrease their speed so as to unnecessarily block, hinder or retard traffic.
'39:4-88(d)


Posted (Minimum) Speed Limit:


Other: I. The State Commissioner of Transportation may restrict the maximum
speed for trucks weighing =10,000 lbs. on highways with maximum speed
limits =50 MPH. However, such reduced limit can only be 5 MPH below
the normal speed limit. '39:4-98.1
II. A person shall not operate a motor vehicle >4 MPH across a sidewalk.
'39:4-100


Adjudication of Speed Law Violations:


Civil/Criminal Adjudication of Violation: Speed Law Violations appear to be Petty Offenses4&5. ''27:12B-18(j),
27:23-32, 27:25A-21(j) & 39:4-104 & 39:4-203
Other:


Sanctions Following an Adjudication of a Speed Law Violation:


Criminal Sanctions4&6:


4On highways under the jurisdiction of the South Jersey Transportation or the New Jersey Highway Authorities, either (1) a speeding, (2)
reckless driving or (3) careless driving offense that results in either death, serious injury or property damage >$5,000 is respectively a crime of
the third degree or a high misdemeanor. ''27:12B-18(k) & 27:25A-21(k) The sanctions for a Crime of the Third Degree/High Misdemeanor
are an imprisonment from 3 to 5 years and/or a fines of not more than $15,000. ''2C:43-1(b), 2C:43-3(b) & 2C:43-6(a)(3)
5Statutory law does not provide a clear classification for this type of offense. However, State supreme court decisions appear to hold that
they are petty offenses. E.g., State v. Schreiber, 585 A.2d 945 (N.J. 1991)
6The following sanctions appear to apply for speeding on highways under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey such as to endanger unreasonably or to be likely to endanger unreasonably persons or property: Imprisonment for not more than 60
days and/or a fine of not more than $500. ''32:1-154.16 & 32:1-154.21 See Footnote No. 5.


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SPEED LAWS V
NEW JERSEY


Sanctions Following an Adjudication of a Speed Law Violation:
(continued)


Imprisonment:
Term (Day, Month, Years,


Etc.): Not more than 15 days ''39:4-104 & 39:4-203
Mandatory Minimum Term: None
Fine:
Amount ($ Range): $50 to $2007&8 ''39:4-104 & 39:4-203
Mandatory Min. Fine ($): None


Other Penalties:
Traffic School: Driver Improvement Program with a $100 fee ''39:5-30.2, 39:5-30.4 &
39:5-30.9 and NJAC '13:19-10.2(b)
Other:


Licensing Action:
Type of Licensing Action
(Susp/Rev): Suspension via a Point System9 '39:5-30.5 et seq.


7One dollar ($1) is add to any fine for the Body Armor Replacement Fund and $1 is also added for the N.J. Spinal Cord Research Fund.
'39:5-41(d) & (e)
8Construction Zone. The fine amount is double for a violation committed in an area of highway construction or repair. '39:4-203.5(b)
9Point System. I. For the indicated point accumulations in a period of 2 years or less, the following suspension periods apply: 12 to 15
points-30 days suspension; 16 to 18 points-60 days suspension; 19 to 21 points-90 days suspension; 22 to 24 points-120 days suspension; 25 to
27 points-150 days suspension; and =28 points-180 days suspension. For the indicated point accumulations in a period greater than 2 years,
the following suspension periods apply: 15 to 18 points-30 days suspension; 19 to 22 points-60 days suspension; 23 to 26 points-90 days
suspension; 27 to 30 points-120 days suspension; 31 to 35 points-150 days suspension; and =36 points-180 days suspension. '39:5-30.8 &
NJAC '13:19-10.2(a) II. The following points have been assigned to speeding and speed related violations: Racing on highway-5 points;
reckless driving-5 points; careless driving-2 points; slow speed blocking traffic or not maintaining the proper speed in a designed traffic lane-2
points; exceeding speed limit =1 but =14 MPH-2 points; exceeding speed limit =15 but =29 MPH-4 points; exceeding speed limit =30-5


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SPEED LAWS V
NEW JERSEY


Term of License Withdrawal
(Days, Months, Years, etc.): Suspension via a Point System-30 to 180 days '39:5-30.8 However, if a
person has had 3 suspensions within 3 years, discretionary suspension for
up to 3 months. '39:5-30b
Mandatory Minimum Term of
Withdrawal: None Attendance at a Driver Improvement Program may be used in lieu of
all or part of a suspension. '39:5-30.2 & NJAC '13:19-10.2(b)


Sanctions Following an Adjudication of a Speed Law Violation:
(continued)


Miscellaneous Sanctions
Not Included Elsewhere: Double Fines. (1) On a public highway with a speed limit of 65 MPH, the
fine is double the usual amount if a person operates a motor vehicle =10
MPH over this limit. '39:4-98.6 (2) The fine amount is double for
exceeding ANY prima facie speed limit by =20 MPH. '39:4-98.7


Other Criminal Actions Related to Speeding:


Racing on Highway: Petty Offense5 '39:4-52 or Disorderly Person Offense '39:5C-1
Sanctions:
Criminal Sanction:
Imprisonment (Term): Petty Offense: None '39:4-52 Disorderly Person Offense: 1st offense-
None Subsequent offense-Not more than 90 days '39:5C-1
Mandatory Minimum Term: None
Fine ($ Range): For either a Petty Offense or a Disorderly Person Offense: 1st offense-$25
to $1007&8 Subsequent offense-$100 to $2007&8 ''39:4-52 & 39:5C-1
Mandatory Minimum Fine: None


Administrative Licensing Action:
Licensing Authorized and
Type of Action: Suspension via a Point System9 '39:5-30.5 et seq.
Length of Term of
Licensing Withdrawal: Suspension via a Point System-30 to 180 days '39:5-30.8 However, if a
person has had 3 suspensions within 3 years, discretionary suspension for
up to 3 months. '39:5-30b
Mandatory Action--Minimum
Length of License


points; and, third offense of unsafe driving-[points have not yet been established for this offense]. '39:4-97.2 and NJAC '13:19-10.1
Alternative Licensing and Possible Registration Action. A person=s license or their vehicle=s registration certificate may be suspended or
revoked (for an indefinite period of time) under general provisions of the law which allows the State to take such action when a person has
violated the traffic laws. ''39:5-30 & 39:5-31
Preliminary Licensing Action. The State may issue a Apreliminary@ (immediate) license suspension without a hearing prior to any final
action based on an allegation that a person has been committed either (1) a speeding offense where they exceed the authorized speed limit by
20 MPH, (2) reckless driving or (3) careless driving where any of the Aalleged@ offenses resulted in either a death or a serious bodily injury to
another. An aggravated party may request a timely hearing on such preliminary action. '39:5-30(e)


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SPEED LAWS V
NEW JERSEY


Withdrawal: None Attendance at a Driver Improvement Program with a $100 fee may
be used in lieu of all or part of a suspension. ''35:5-30.2 & 39:5-30.4 and
NJAC '13:19-10.2(b)


Other: Double Fines. For racing on a public highway with a speed limit of 65
MPH, the fine is double the usual amount. '39:4-98.6


Reckless Driving4: Petty Offense5 ''27:12B-18(b) & (j), 27:23-26, 27:23-32, 27:25A-21(b) &
(j) & 39:4-96
Sanction:
Criminal:
Imprisonment (Term): 1st offense-Not more than 60 days Subsequent offense-Not more than 3
months '39:4-96
Mandatory Minimum Term
of Imprisonment: None
Fine ($ Range): 1st offense-$50 to $2007&8 Subsequent offense-$100 to $5007&8 '39:4-96
Mandatory Minimum Fine: None
Administrative Licensing Actions:
Type of Licensing Action
(Susp/Rev): Suspension via a Point System9 '39:5-30.5 et seq.
Other Criminal Actions Related to Speeding:.
(continued)


Reckless Driving: (continued)
Length of Term of License
Withdrawal Action: Suspension via a Point System-30 to 180 days '39:5-30.8 However, if a
person has had 3 suspensions within 3 years, discretionary suspension for
up to 3 months. '39:5-30b
Mandatory Term of License
Withdrawal Action: None Attendance at a Driver Improvement Program with a $100 fee may
be used in lieu of all or part of a suspension. ''39:5-30.2 & 39:5-30.4 and
NJAC '13:19-10.2(b)


Other: Double Fines. For a person, who commits reckless driving on a public
highway with a speed limit of 65 MPH, the fine is double the usual
amount. '39:4-98.6


Careless Driving4&10: Petty Offense5 ''27:12B-18(b) & (j), 27:32-26, 27:32-32, 27:25A-21(b) &
(j), 32:1-154.3, 32:1-154.9, 32:154.16, 32:154.18(2), 32:154.19 & 39:4-97
Sanction:
Criminal:
Imprisonment (Term): Not more than 15 days '39:4-104
Mandatory Minimum Term
of Imprisonment: None
Fine ($ Range): $50 to $2007&8 '39:4-104
Mandatory Minimum Fine: None


Administrative Licensing Actions:
Type of Licensing Action
(Susp/Rev): Suspension via a Point System9 '39:5-30.5 et seq.
Length of term of License
Withdrawal Action: Suspension via a Point System-30 to 180 days '39:5-30.8 However, if a


10"Careless driving" is defined as operating "a vehicle carelessly, or without due caution and circumspection, in a manner so as to endanger,
or be likely to endanger, a person or property." '39:4-97


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SPEED LAWS V
NEW JERSEY


person has had 3 suspensions within 3 years, discretionary suspension for
up to 3 months. '39:5-30b
Mandatory Term of License
Withdrawal Action: None Attendance at a Driver Improvement Program with a $100 fee may
be used in lieu of all or part of a suspension. ''39:5-30.2 & 39:5-30.4 and
NJAC '13:19-10.2(b)


Other: Double Fines. For a person, who commits careless driving on a public
highway with a speed limit of 65 MPH, the fine is double the usual
amount. '39:4-98.6


Unsafe Driving11: Petty Offense5 '39:4-97.2


Other Criminal Actions Related to Speeding:
(continued)


Unsafe Driving: (continued)
Sanction:
Criminal:
Imprisonment (Term): None
Mandatory Minimum Term
of Imprisonment:
Fine ($ Range): 1st offense-$50 to $1507; 2nd offense (within 5 years)-$100 to $2507; 3rd
or subsequent offense (within 5 years)-$200 to $5007 '39:4-97.2
Mandatory Minimum Fine: None


Administrative Licensing Actions:
Type of Licensing Action
(Susp/Rev): Suspension via a Point System9 For a 3rd or subsequent offense, points are
added to a person=s driving record. ''39:4-97.2 & 39:5-30.5 et seq.
Length of term of License
Withdrawal Action: Suspension via a Point System-30 to 180 days '39:5-30.8 However, if a
person has had 3 suspensions within 3 years, discretionary suspension for
up to 3 months. '39:5-30b
Mandatory Term of License
Withdrawal Action: None Attendance at a Driver Improvement Program with a $100 fee may
be used in lieu of all or part of a suspension. ''39:5-30.2 & 39:5-30.4 and
NJAC '13:19-10.2(b)


Other:


11"[I]t shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner likely to endanger a person or property.@
'39:4-97.2


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SPEED LAWS V
NEW JERSEY


Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operators12:


Grounds for Suspension: A person's privilege for operate a CMV is suspended if while driving such
a vehicle they either (1) commit 2 "serious traffic violations"13 within a 3
year period or (2) commit 3 such violations within a 3 year period. '39:3-
10.20(f)


Period of Suspension: 2 serious violations (within 3 years)-Not less than 60 days 3 serious
violations (within 3 years)-120 days '39:3-10.20(f)


Period of Mandatory Suspension: 2 serious violations (within 3 years)-60 days 3 serious violations (within 3
years)-120 days '39:3-10.20(f)


12A person who has obtained a commercial driver's license (CDL) and is qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. A commercial
motor vehicle is defined as a vehicle designed to carry either passengers or property and either has a gross vehicle weight of =26,001 lbs., is
designed to transport 16 or more persons, is designed to transport >8 but <16 persons if used to transport persons for hire on a daily basis to
and from places of employment, or is transporting hazardous materials which requires that the vehicle to be placarded in accordance with U.S.
Department of Transportation regulations. '39:3-10.11
13A "serious traffic violation" includes exceeding the speed limit by 15 or more MPH or reckless driving. '39:3-10.11